Saturday, August 27, 2016

Worldcon: Cavalcade of Name Dropping

I’m only namedropping my Business Networking Type Contacts, by the way. Not convos with Filers or random people that I happened to stumble across (my favorite type of conversation to have).  I don’t want to turn into one of those people that blogs about everyone they talk to, because I think privacy is marvelous.  If any names I have dropped, kicked or linked agree that privacy is awesome and do not wish to be publicized on a silly blog like mine, please say something and I’ll make the reference go away, and please accept my apologies in advance. Conversely, if I talked to you or possibly even just glanced at you but neglected to drop your name and you'd like to be dropped, shoot me a comment. 

So I finally made it off the couch and over to my suitcase for my stack of bizcards, but before I did that, I spent a good while reading File 770 comments by other people that were at Worldcon.  Doctor Science was ruminating on the right/privilege/reasonable expectation to personal safety while in public.  It kind of hit home because right now in my very neighborhood there is a lurking assaulter who randomly punches women of my demographic in the face – he has broken two noses so far. A good reason to stay at home nurturing my videogame addiction and working on volume 2, in my humble opinion.  

M. Sophia Newman at Literary Hub, where they have an awesomebunny editor gif on the front page, wrote a nice piece about pornographer ChuckTingle that doesn’t really have any actual porn in it. It’s a nice read, especially for folks interested in neurodiversity.  

I hung out with various Filers at a gathering organized by Hampus at the Flying Saucer.

Heather Rose Jones was there, being her awesome noob-welcoming self.  

Alexandra Erin was there, having a footwear malfunction. 

More people were there, but that pineapple fruitbeer appears to have wiped much of my memory. 

I personally thanked Matthew Johnson on behalf of the SFWA for letting self-pubbed writers in. 

The Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA) is something I have always wanted to join. You have to publish a science fiction book to get in, and when I headed toward self-pub I figured I was saying goodbye to the whole idea of respectable things like professional orgs. Now all I have to do is sell $3k worth of books and I can join!  Good incentive to get off my butt and distribute more PR. 

In the dealer’s room, I got a free signed copy of Douglas A. Van Belle’s novel Breathe, a space romance-thriller which opened randomly to sex scenes, twice. Maybe I’ll read the rest of it.

Ozgur K. Sahin, meanwhile, was very charming and personable as he discussed his novel The Wrath of Brotherhood, which I just bought on Amazon. Because it’s about pirates. (I’m a purported blood relative of Bartholomew Roberts,FYI.) 

I’ve got a bookmark here for Clarion West writers’ workshops. Maybe someday I’ll come out of my hermit’s cave and develop an interest in being convivial with other writers.

I remember getting the Apex Book Company bookmark, and I remember chatting with someone around the time I acquired it, but I don’t recall the details. They’re an indie press that does spec fic with cool covers.

A promo bookmark for Stay Crazy by Erica L. Satifka.  “The twelve pills Em Kalberg takes every day should keep her anxiety and paranoia in check. So when a voice that calls itself Escodex begins talking to her from a box of frozen chicken nuggets, she’s sure that it’s real and not another hallucination.  Well … pretty sure.”  This sounds fun, kind of like Christopher Moore with some neurodiversity, and I just bought it.  Can’t remember if I talked to her though.

Persistent Visions is a spec fic journal; I had a nice chat about small doggies with someone there.
Ivery Kirk and Luna Teague were two fun girls that write something called Time Bangers, which I just bought, but won’t review here, because it’s about time travel and sex. Moving right along!

Pegasus Publishing has a Cthulhuania division. How can you not love that?

Tim Susman was recommended by someone at SFWA as someone knowledgeable about self publishing; he writes for the furry community.  

J. Tullos Hennig has gorgeous promotional bookmarks, and she writes about Robin Hood … in a not entirely heterosexual way. 

Nikki McCormack wrote a novel called The Girl and the Clockwork Cat which sounds interesting.

I have a visually stunning bookmark decorated with a Hydra advertising Telling Tales: The Clarion West 30th Anniversary Anthology.  

Confessions of an Aging Futurist

I'll get to the name dropping soon, I promise, but today I wanted to talk about age. Is science fiction ageist?

This blogger seems to think so, based on a sprinkling of troll comments. 

N.K. Jemisen thinks so too, because she had to trick us into liking the protagonist of her Hugo award winning novel.

When I was younger, I was interested in the future. I went looking for kindred souls and I discovered a large extended science fiction community that was also woman-friendly. I said, “Hi, I’m obsessed with all the interesting things that will happen in the future, such as computers and decentralized media.”  They were more interested in talking about pagan gods and organic vegetables.

I hung around for a while until I ultimately came to a personal decision that many of my peers and elders were subscribing to a pessimistic worldview and basically ran off to my computer and hung out with younger people, talking about computers and decentralized media.  Sometimes pagan gods and organic vegetables too, but mostly about computers, which we saw as exciting opportunities rather than vectors of unpleasant learning curves.  That was when I decided I wanted to write exciting sci fi for people that are young at heart, and all those people who got mad at me for loving tech instead of fearing it could go sit on a pickle.  

The blogger I linked mentioned depression being endemic to our age group. I’ll just note that opiate abuse and suicide are linked as well, and that I personally don’t endorse either. As far as depression, I experienced a certain amount of that during a particularly depressing period of my life and as a result I learned some cognitive behavioral therapy based coping skills from a therapist friend and I began avoiding the kind of media that claims organic vegetables are a more worthy field of inquiry than databases. Because that kind of sneering contempt for the present/future while longing for an idealized past will kill you if you let it, and I’d rather die to a worthier foe. 

These days I can handle the grimdark pessimistic stuff in small ironic doses, and a few of my old friends have come around as far as embracing digital culture, and I’ve met a few more. Others still go on about how someday civilization will fail, and all the computers will break, and it’ll just be them and their organic vegetables – or at least they were doing that when I turned my back and walked away; I have no idea what they’re going on about now. 

I did write a very brief review of Ms. Jemisen’s book in my Hugo recap, dismissing it as grimdark and comparing it to The Road.  I’m not going to delve farther into why I felt that way; there are detailed reviews elsewhere (with and without spoilers). I will also note that the book is life-affirming in a stealthy way, and skillfully written.  

My generation grew up under prototypical clickbait in the form of manipulators eager to scare us with tales of imminent demise by nuclear war and overpopulation and killer bees in order to gain our trust and money and votes. Yes, some of the threats that frightened us were viable, and there are still plenty more. And in order to think clearly enough to sort out the illusory threats from the kind where we can and should act, some of us need to distance ourselves from the constant pull of negative emotions (and the manipulators who use them in order to jerk our chains, which is as close as I’m going to get to a political rant today). The difference between a Charon that feels like getting up early in the morning for a productive day of chipping away at oppression while bringing universal health care a gazillionth of an increment closer and a Charon that feels like staying in bed all day has a lot to do with whether Charon has consumed any grimdark media lately. 

Some of those organic vegetables fans also taught me about things like meditation and mindfulness, and the importance of focusing on positive action rather than negative reaction. Things that were actually helpful.

This other piece, by M.C.A. Hogarth, is also calling for positive action replacing negative reaction, and about the various microaggressions directed toward Christians, conservatives, etc. throughout Worldcon. This is exactly the sort of thing that floats my boat. No raging, no making up insulting names and acronyms, no collateral damage insult spraying – just an honest, earnest, statement. Hey! This is mean! Can we stop?

Anyway, I’m trying to personally inhabit a life-affirming frame of mind when I tell my stories, and I seem to find more acceptance of this among generations younger than myself. I do agree that age is moot when it comes to prejudices, and that all different age groups can be, for instance, misogynistic while manifesting it in different ways. Sometimes people look at my graying hair and expect me to be interested in real estate investments and romance novels rather than video games and fairy tales; I try not to hang out with those people.

I absolutely do agree that certain standard of living issues have gotten worse between generations, such as the ability to afford a place to live, and that younguns are absolutely in the right to complain about that – and we olds have (in my opinion) a certain duty to listen to them when they point out unfairnesses that we often neglect to notice due to age privilege. 

For example, I’ve already written about how Black Lives Matter. And I also am very much in favor of blue lives (being a generally life-affirming person). In my gentrified town of San Francisco, I have just learned that many police officers are living in RVs parked in police station lots because they can’t afford the rent here.  I’m absolutely livid about that. We olds really need to do a lot better for the upcoming generations. Quite possibly that's a reflection of me being stuck at the teenager-striking-back-against-corruptness stage of emotional development, but somebody needs to be, and it might as well be me.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Hugo Awards

The winners of the Hugo awards this year mostly agree with my votes. EDIT: January Jessica Jones beat My Little Pony, and some of my votes for 2nd place actually came in first, which is fine with me. N.K. Jemisen got best novel rather than Seveneves, and Folding Beijing beat Obits. The very awesome Cat Pictures, Please beat Chuck Tingle.

Both Mike Glyer and File 770 won. Mike has been seriously ill lately, which has saddened and alarmed many of us filers.

The Martian won Best Picture, and Andy Weir won the Campbell Award. Actual NASA astronauts accepted on his behalf, both times. Plus they talked about how much they liked it. Dayumm, that’s a mark of supreme science fictional praise.

Was there applause at the No Awarding this year? Hell yes, there was applause. If I had to characterize the type of applause, I’d call it “take yer dang slate and skedaddle” applause, very earthy and midsouthwestern.

It seemed to me that the voters were distinguishing between (i) works that might have wound up on the ballot with or without a slate, and (ii) works that were only on the ballot because they were slated. Where slates pushed away all the (i)s they were vigorously No Awarded, and when the slaters held onto that populist mentality, the voters forgave the slating. The voting members didn’t mind it when slaters came along to underline selections; they just didn’t like having puppy selections foisted upon them. Just as the puppies dislike having ultraliberal works foisted upon them.

That’s what it all really boils down to. People don’t like having works foisted upon them that sneer at them from every page. We’ve become a tragically uncivil culture since the advent of the internet, and beyond that, some people are tired of making nicey nice with folks that constantly joke about killing them. 

Science fiction, meanwhile, shows no signs of ceasing to be political at any time soon, and I’m looking forward to the art this phase of the culture war will inspire. The Hugo rules were changed last weekend and potentially next year’s awards will be less slatey. And maybe I’ll cease being interested, although I’m definitely going to the 2018 Worldcon in San Jose, since it’s nearby.

And finally … I realize this is pathologically weird, but it’s my brain and I’m the one that has to live with it … I’ve been going through Postmodern Jukebox videos. They were the band whose music was sampled in the theater while we were all sitting there waiting for the Hugos to start. The song partially stuck in my head is sort of a mutant cross between Dionne Warwick’s I Say A Little Prayer and Pat Benatar’s Shadows of the Night via Adele. I haven’t found it yet. But I will. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Doing Stuff at Worldcon

I don’t have a big stamina bar, which complicates doing PR, because PR requires you to go to functions where you have to stand and make polite chitchat – sometimes while juggling canapes and being blasted with loud music – and I’m bad at that. I have to do modified duty as far as PR, and this consists of Putting The Bookmarks On The Table. I was stoked to notice that this year I actually had to replenish the bookmarks. Twice. I never left too many out (that would make me look desperate) but people actually snagged ‘em.

I also talked to various publishers of books and magazines and grabbed their cards and inspected their wares; I’ll talk more about that later in my name dropping post that I’ll write after I get off the couch and get my pile of bizcards from my suitcase. And I also spent a lot of time doing old lady stuff like resting, and napping. I’m not totally an old lady yet, just practicing.

As far as the stuff I experienced that I feel like writing about, on Wednesday I hid in my room eating room service BBQ that was actually pretty damn tasty.

On Thursday I appertained myself a cappucino at the Marriott, then I headed to the What’s New in Medicine panel, and listened to a discussion on aging, on health issues specific to space/zero g environments, on designer medicine based on genetics and other fascinating stuff. I ended up buying a book written by one of the speakers, Using Medicine in Science Fiction: The SF Writer’s Guide to Human Biology by H.G. Stratman.  

Then I went to the dealer’s room to wander around. I explored Filer Park, and bought a t-shirt, and left some PR lying around.

At noon I went to The Mainstreaming of Pseudoscience panel, and was entertained by talk about homeopathy and Nessie. I also found someone who left the Future Forensics panel that I wanted to attend, and we briefed each other on the sections we had missed. It was like being Hermione and having a time-turner, and in fact there was a cardboard cut out of Hermione glaring down at us from above the escalators.

I attempted to eat an Aramark pretzel for lunch but it was just slimy and foul. Fortunately there was a red Kansas City Barbecue food truck outside that hooked me up with a nice brisket sammich, and after I ate that I dropped in on a couple of panels but didn’t stay long. My back was starting to get sore, and after briefly wrestling with denial I headed back to the hotel for a nap.

The File 770 meetup happened at the Flying Saucer that night, and we overflowed into three tables. I stayed there for a couple hours and then headed back to the hotel to soak my back in the Jacuzzi.

On Friday, I ate some biscuits and gravy and took my sweet leisurely time plodding around before heading to the GRRM reading. I thought I was being clever by sitting in on the prior panel, Queer Star Wars, a discussion on which characters in SW might possibly be queer. Some of the panelists were talking about how they didn’t like characters of ambiguous orientation as much as characters that were declared queer, and one of them wished they would make Rey in the new Star Wars movies an asexual. I thought that would be interesting too.

Then my cleverness was dashed as the room was cleared, and I ran around to the back of the line and spent the next hour blissfully listening to GRRM read an excerpt from Westeros history.

Next I tried to go to John Scalzi’s reading, but they had him packed into a very small room and it was full, so I hung around the dealer’s room some more replenishing my PR and chitchatting with various random people, then I headed back to the hotel for a nap, followed by dinner at Jack Stack’s and more Jacuzzi.

On Saturday I went back for more biscuits and gravy before taking my copy of Fevre Dream to GRRM’s second signing, then I found the iron throne and got another fan to take my picture sitting in it. Then I hit the Know Your Immune System panel, and learned there still isn’t a cure for mysterious autoimmune disorders associated with fatigue and joint pain and such – but autoimmune disorders may be protective for cancer, so there’s that. I needed a nap afterwards, and a steak.

Full of delicious beef, I then put on some clean pants and headed to Filer park to meet fellow filers, many of whom were dressed far fancier than me in stunning brocade jackets. We all traipsed over to the theater, where I sat insecurely rattling my candy wrappers through the show.

It was a very tasteful and severe show this year, with Pat Cadigan (wielding a whip) presiding. I know from reading File 770 that Pat has terminal cancer and I’m really glad she had the stamina to go through with the show.

I had a 3:30 am wakeup call scheduled, for my 4:10 shuttle to meet a 7am flight, so I vanished right after the awards. Why did I leave at such an obscenely early hour? So I could retrieve my cat from boarding, of course. I missed him very much. 

I would have liked to have done more but my spine was being a whiny little beotch; occasionally it does that, which can be frustrating when you're traveling a long distance specifically to do something. There was a time when I would just power through it and accept the extra aggravation later, but this isn't that time. 

I do believe I will skip Finland, but I'm looking forward to Worldcon being in San Jose in 2018 -- driving distance! No airports!  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Preliminary Post Worldcon Blathering

I’m back on my couch, with my real computer, my cat making sleep apnea sound effects by my side and my wall of pillows behind my back. I have no idea how much typing will escape before I collapse, since I’ve been awake since 2am Central Standard time and it’s just starting to get dark in San Francisco, and I’m exhausted from airports, but I’m also energized by the con. 


Getting there was nerve-wracking. My airport shuttle arrived late, and the transmission was fading, especially after navigating the twisty hilly streets for the next passenger – who turned out to be an artist bound for Worldcon – I identified him by his Isaac Asimov book. Our stalwart Russian driver got it on the freeway, coaxed it into third gear and then drove us to the airport without ever downshifting into second; we arrived on time. And awake.

Then the stressful and humiliating and overstimulating air travel experience happened. Show them my socks! Stand in a scary line full of official warning notices! Put my ancient and cheap Asus (aka my traveling computer) in a bucket so everyone can laugh at it! Sit next to people potentially more bizarre than myself!

I never talk to people beside me on airplanes aside from “excuse me, I need to go to the restroom” so if you’ve ever sat next to me on a plane and received a disinterested “mmmmm” in response to your conversational overtures, that’s why.  I’m not plane phobic but flying stresses me out. Too many things to look at, way too crowded plus It’s physically uncomfortable, probably for most people. Even though at 5’7” I am perfectly average in height biometrics, my idiosyncratic spine doesn’t fit well in seats for the normally-spined, meaning that typically I arrive with my muscles in knots, and my head throbbing from the reconstituted air.

My width biometrics tend to stay within the allotted space, but I don’t typically begrudge people who encroach. At one point a person of largeness was seated next to me. I scootched all the way over toward the window and pointed my knees at the bulkhead to make room for him, and didn’t fuss about the low back strain or the involuntary physical contact (even though I hate that). I was prepared to sit there ignoring him all the way to Seattle … except he chose to speak, saying “they jam us in here like sardines, don’t they?” I suddenly developed a fierce loathing for him for including me in his "we" without my express permission, even though I didn’t say anything in reply, and I was ecstatic when the stewardess relocated him next to an empty.

My other interesting fellow passenger was wearing a parka with the hood up, even though it wasn't cold. I thought it was weird for a moment, then I heard her talk on her phone and realized she was probably Muslim, and I speculated she was probably wearing this dorky ski jacket to comply with her religious dress code while not scaring the other airplane passengers by wearing a scary hijab like the Muslim women I see in San Francisco. So I tried to be extra nice to her during the 3x I ended up having to get up and use the airplane restroom due to drinking a massive coffee on an empty stomach. Because unlike SF and Seattle and other (cough) places, KC doesn't put actual food between the gates and the airport security.


Speaking of my stomach, it has been even more delicate and wimpy than normal this year. I went through some food poisoning back in March which made me swell up like a pregnant jigglypuff, and although I’ve been deflating gradually, I’m still kind of puffy and prone to getting the kind of bellyaches that prevent me from thinking about anything else. Especially when I consume evil things like cabbage or beans or aspirin or alcohol.

Yes, I ventured into the land of BBQ while sensitive to coleslaw, baked beans and beer. I usually have no problem avoiding beans, so I continued doing that. I like coleslaw and I ate it a couple times, but never more than a few bites. My only alcohol was a glass of Mikkeller Spontanpineapple, a 7.7% fruit beer from the Flying Saucer, and I drank very sparingly of its ambrosial tart sour heavenly dryness.

I did eat all kinds of meat: pulled pork and steak at my hotel, brisket from a food truck, a burger at the brewpub, and burnt ends from Jack Stack’s along with their spicy house sauce.  Kansas City BBQ sauce is an advanced topic and I won’t even pretend to understand it. I’m more of a teriyaki and tikka masala eater personally, but I admire the concept of well-cooked meat slathered in sweet-and-spicy sauce, and I ate it at every possible opportunity.

Just as soon as they develop vat-grown meat, I’ll switch. If someone brought me a live cow or pig and told me their life depended on my dinner order, I’d get cucumber sushi or a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup or some pesto and olive pizza. However, if it’s already dead and there’s nothing I can do about that fact, I’m gonna eat it. Especially if I happen to be in the midwest.


I have very mixed feelings about my hotel. For one thing, it was far away from the convention, and there was no shuttle – just a free streetcar, across a wide and busy street, that dropped me 3 blocks downhill from the convention center.

And yet there was a great shower, and a very nice jacuzzi. The view was good. The food was heavenly and room service only took half an hour. The texture and rigidity of the bed was perfect. There was a bedside charging station for my family of devices, and a fridge that wasn’t all cluttered up with minibar monkeyjunk, and a nice big TV.  There was an openable window so I could smell and hear the city and breathe non HVACed air. 

I usually prefer my hotels to be ancient and haunted and close to the action, and the Westin certainly wasn’t. It wasn’t bad, though. It had a little mall and food court near a bunch of family-friendly amusements, perfect for conventioneers who decided to bring the spouse and kids along. 

Thunderstorm and Other KC Delights

I was pleased to witness an authentic midwestern thunderstorm, with lighting and clouds. None of my lightning pictures came out, but there was enough lightning for a scrub photographer like me to think I actually had a chance of capturing some. This storm was accompanied by swift strong winds that cleared all items from the desk, and an overpowering ozone smell, and clouds, fog, rain and San Francisco temperatures. I loved it! 

KC is on the border between the midwest and the south. Most of the background music I heard in places was country, but usually it was the good stuff, with twanginess and haunted-sounding voices.
My parents came from Arkansas and Texas, and a lot of things about the south feel very familiar, like the accents, and the sweet tea (I’m still addicted to that stuff but I’ve switched to the sugarless kind). At the same time, a lot of things about the south feel very oppressive, like those noisy yet invisible cicadas beneath all that greenery, waiting to pounce on me and drag me into some kudzu-coated hell if I’m caught doing anything excessively Californian. 

Reading For The Last Several Days

Song of the Red Feather – written (and illustrated) by Jo Vasquez
               The life of a raptor, similar to Raptor Red. Short and poetic and fun.

How to Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell
I started reading this on my phone but it didn’t work, given the heavily illustrated nature of it, which played out much better on my Kindle Fire. Different from the movie in that the dragon is brattier and whinier (and more valiant too), and the young Vikings are more pugnacious and punklike. Some very nice midgrade writing too.

Robert Sheckley Mega Pack
I’ve been reading this compilation of stories off and on forever and I finally finished it. I found a nice review on some other guy’s blog so I’m going to link it right here.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
               Since the hotel made me pay $10 a day for wifi (eyeroll) I downloaded a bunch of things onto my Kindle just because I could, resulting in a few “Oh yeah, I already read that one” moments. This one is about the sole survivor of a mass murder, who has grown up into a layabout goth, solving a real crime. I like Flynn (also wrote Gone Girl) because (a) she mocks darkness; and (b) she writes women characters that can be evil, or slatternly, or unvirtuous. It’s adult-ish but not too far away from the YA ballpark, a mystery slash thriller, with a lot of humor.

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
               Just started it. I hope Glokta is back! I love Glokta!

Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
               I don’t typically like to do the fangirl thing, since I was disappointed by several nerd celebrities during my young adulthood (I’m looking at you, David Prowse). And everyone in the community usually rolls their eyes at me when I fangirl over GRRM, since he’s been one of us long before he got popular with the mainstream. I waited in his line, though, which was well-managed and orderly and efficient, and got him to sign my … 1982 copy of Fevre Dream.  Because I bought it in 1982, I believe it’s a 1st edition, although it doesn’t specifically state as much, and it sure isn’t mint, with a  well-loved cover, and I reread some of my favorite passages while waiting in line.
               And he blinked. “Fevre Dream!” he exclaimed as he scrawled his name. I replied it was one of my favorites. He muttered something about how Fevre Dream should be made into a movie, and I enthusiastically agreed. Thus accomplishing my main reason for getting an autograph – reinforcing in his mind that Fevre Dream deserves a movie. If enough of us do that, someday there will be a movie.
               Fevre Dream is a story about broken windows and evil. In the Southern US, during slave days, live some vampires, who find it very convenient to feast on slaves as well as plantation owners, and the technologically proficient and paladinlike vampire who tries to stop them, accompanied by an ugly old riverboat captain. The broken windows part has to do with the government, by accepting the legality of slavery, opened the door for pretty much every other evil thing one can think of.
               And you know, I’ve still got a crush on Joshua York. Lestat, Sparkly Eddie, pfft. None of those guys can hold a candle to Joshua York.

The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit
               Working on my E. Nesbit megapack. The same kids from Five Children and It encounter a magical phoenix and a flying carpet – highjinks ensue. I read most of these when I was younger and I’m pleased to see that the Suck Fairy has barely touched them.
[The Suck Fairy is a File 770 concept; it visits the books you loved as a child and worsens them, so that when you revisit them in your grownup years you are appalled by all the sloppiness and cliché and -isms and poor role models and general incompetence.]


One Sunny Night by Charon Dunn
               Just because I could. It was sitting there on my Kindle, shimmering in its colorful cover, and one morning I was sitting in the Marriott’s bar staring at a cool fountain while pouring a cappucino into my face and I just started reading it, because I could. It seemed just like a real book next to all the other real books (even though I don’t quite think of it as real yet, since nobody except me has read it – or if anyone actually has read it, they’re diplomatically avoiding saying anything until my cult following shows up, which should happen any day now).
               It actually held up well, although I did spot two words I probably should have edited out. I sat there for several minutes engrossed in it, even though I’ve read it before (a lot).
               I would rather have written a book that I am pleased with that nobody reads than a bestseller that I don’t like.

Coming up next: the actual Worldcon. And the Hugos and stuff.

Trek vs Wars

Listen all y'all, Nerd Approved has posted something potentially dismaying if you’re a "die-hard Trek fan that kinda resents the success of Star Wars." 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

2016 Hugo Winners

And the winner is:  


My Vote

The Actual Winner

BEST NOVEL (3695 ballots)

·      Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
·      The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
·      The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
·      Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
·      Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
The Fifth Season
The Cinder Spires
No Award

The Fifth Season

BEST NOVELLA (2416 ballots)

·      Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (
·      The Builders by Daniel Polansky (
·      Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
·      Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
·      Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
Penric’s Demon
Perfect State
Slow Bullets
No Award

BEST NOVELETTE (1975 ballots)

·      “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed, Feb2015)
·      “Flashpoint: Titan” by CHEAH Kai Wai (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
·      “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu (Uncanny Magazine, Jan-Feb 2015)
·      “Obits” by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Scribner)
·      “What Price Humanity?” by David VanDyke (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
Folding Beijing
What Price Humanity
And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead
No Award
Folding Beijing

BEST SHORT STORY (2451 ballots)

·      “Asymmetrical Warfare” by S. R. Algernon (Nature, Mar 2015)
·      “Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
·      “If You Were an Award, My Love” by Juan Tabo and S. Harris (, Jun 2015)
·      “Seven Kill Tiger” by Charles Shao (There Will Be War Volume X, Castalia House)
·      Space Raptor Butt Invasion by Chuck Tingle (Amazon Digital Services)
Cat Pictures Please 
Cat Pictures Please

BEST RELATED WORK (2080 ballots)

·      Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
·      “The First Draft of My Appendix N Book” by Jeffro Johnson (
·      “Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness (
·      SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day (Castalia House)
·      “The Story of Moira Greyland” by Moira Greyland (
No Award
No Award

BEST GRAPHIC STORY (1838 ballots)

·      The Divine written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka (First Second)
·      Erin Dies Alone written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell (
·      Full Frontal Nerdity by Aaron Williams (
·      Invisible Republic Vol 1 written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman (Image Comics)
·      The Sandman: Overture written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H. Williams III (Vertigo)
The Sandman: Overture


·      Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
·      Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
·      Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac-Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
·      The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
·      Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
The Martian

The Martian


·      Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Television)
·      Grimm: “Headache” written by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, directed by Jim Kouf(Universal Television; GK Productions; Hazy Mills Productions; Open 4 Business Productions; NBCUniversal Television Distribution)
·      Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile” written by Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, and Jamie King, directed by Michael Rymer (Marvel Television; ABC Studios; Tall Girls Productions;Netflix)
·      My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2 written by Scott Sonneborn, M.A. Larson, and Meghan McCarthy, directed by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller (DHX Media/Vancouver; Hasbro Studios)
·      Supernatural: “Just My Imagination” written by Jenny Klein, directed by Richard Speight Jr. (Kripke Enterprises; Wonderland Sound and Vision; Warner Bros. Television)

My Little Pony
Jessica Jones

BEST EDITOR – SHORT FORM (1891 ballots)

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jerry Pournelle
  • Sheila Williams
Ellen Datlow

BEST EDITOR – LONG FORM (1764 ballots)

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Jim Minz
  • Toni Weisskopf
Toni Weisskopf
Sheila Gilbert


  • Lars Braad Andersen
  • Larry Elmore
  • Abigail Larson
  • Michal Karcz
  • Larry Rostant
Abigail Larson
Larry Elmore
Michal Karcz
Lars Braad Andersen
Larry Rostant
Abigail Larson

BEST SEMIPROZINE (1457 ballots)

·      Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
·      Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele-Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
·      Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie
·      Strange Horizons edited by Catherine Krahe, Julia Rios, A. J. Odasso, Vanessa Rose Phin,Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons staff
·      Uncanny Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

BEST FANZINE (1455 ballots)

·      Castalia House Blog edited by Jeffro Johnson
·      File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
·      Lady Business edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
·      Superversive SF edited by Jason Rennie
·      Tangent Online edited by Dave Truesdale
File 770
File 770

BEST FANCAST (1267 ballots)

·      8-4 Play, Mark MacDonald, John Ricciardi, Hiroko Minamoto, and Justin Epperson
·      Cane and Rinse, Cane and Rinse
·      HelloGreedo, HelloGreedo
·      The Rageaholic, RazörFist
·      Tales to Terrify, Stephen Kilpatrick
No Award

BEST FAN WRITER (1568 ballots)

  • Douglas Ernst
  • Mike Glyer
  • Morgan Holmes
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Shamus Young

Mike Glyer
Mike Glyer

BEST FAN ARTIST (1073 ballots)

  • Matthew Callahan
  • disse86
  • Kukuruyo
  • Christian Quinot
  • Steve Stiles
Steve Stiles


  • Pierce Brown
  • Sebastien de Castell
  • Brian Niemeier
  • Andy Weir
  • Alyssa Wong
Andy Weir

Andy Weir