Monday, May 30, 2016

Musical Monday - Promises by the Cranberries


I just obtained the Weird West anthology published by the small press publisher eSpec Books, so that may have been something of an inspiration for this post.

This is another Musical Monday selection that is mostly for the video. Although I really like the song, it doesn't have much genre-related content itself. The video, however, set in a surreal version of an Old West landscape with a flying spirit of vengeance throwing bolts of energy from her hands and mouth, is brilliant. I have always liked the Old West as a setting for supernatural or science fiction oriented stories, although there isn't a whole lot of material to draw upon there. There was, of course, the Wild Wild West television series, and the movie inspired by it, as well as the Deadlands role-playing game (which seems to have been at least partially inspired by Stephen King's Dark Tower series), but there aren't a whole lot of other examples I can think of. Maybe Jonah Hex or Pretty Deadly fit into this category, although I haven't read either as of yet.

Previous Musical Monday: Down Today by Jonathan Coulton
Subsequent Musical Monday: What's Up by 4 Non Blondes

The Cranberries     Musical Monday     Home

Sunday, May 29, 2016

2014 Hugo Award Longlist

One of the reasons for the Hugo Longlist Project is to determine if one can glean any useful or predictive information out of the Hugo Longlist. One question that seems interesting is whether one can use an author's presence on the Hugo longlist as a method of predicting their future presence on the list of Hugo finalists. If this were to be true, we would expect that Seanan McGuire, Brandon Sanderson, and Yoon Ha Lee would show up on future Hugo finalist lists. Unfortunately, this was the last year of the Hugo Awards before the takeover by the Puppy slates, and until that issue is dealt with, then most of the historical patterns concerning nominations will likely be of little use in determining future results.

2014 was the first year that the Sad Puppies had any noticeable impact on the list of Hugo finalists. With one nominee in three categories and two in a fourth, the Pups had a presence, but not an overwhelming one. By and large, the Puppy nominees were fairly weak as nominees - mostly adequate but unspectacular examples of genre fiction whose shortcomings were glaringly apparent when compared to their competition. The lone exception was the Theodore Beale story Opera Vita Aeterna, which was one of the worst fiction nominees in the history of the Hugo Awards (although several stories in 2015 gave it a run for its money on that score).

Looking at the entire longlist, it becomes apparent that the finalist list understated the Puppy strength as two Puppy-slated nominees were disqualified for eligibility reasons, and several others appeared down the ballot on the longlist. Given this, the Puppy domination of the Hugo finalist ballot in 2015 seems entirely unsurprising - once a group goes down that unethical path and has some success, following it up with just a bit more organization is a predicable outcome. Anyone who claims they didn't expect that the Puppy campaign of 2015 would have the results it had was simply not paying attention to the facts available from the 2014 Hugo Awards.

Best Novel

Finalists:
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie [winner]
Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross
Parasite by Mira Grant
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman [nomination declined]
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Warbound by Larry Correia

Longlisted Nominees:
Abaddon's Gate by James S.A. Corey
A Few Good Men by Sarah A. Hoyt
The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
London Falling by Paul Cornell
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo

Best Novella

Finalists:
The Butcher of Khardov by Dan Wells
The Chaplain's Legacy by Brad R. Torgersen
Equoid by Charles Stross [winner]
Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
Wakulla Springs by Ellen Klage and Andy Duncan

Longlisted Nominees:
Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes
Hook Agonistes by Jay Lake and Seanan McGuire
How Green This Land, How Blue this Sea by Mira Grant
Iseul's Lexicon by Yoon Ha Lee
Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden by Wen Spencer
Precious Mental by Robert Reed
The Princess and the Queen by George R.R. Martin
Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson
Spin by Nina Allan
We Both Go Down Together by Seanan McGuire
The Weight of the Sunrise by Vylar Kaftan

Best Novelette

Finalists:
The Exchange Officers by Brad R. Torgersen (reviewed in 2014 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette)
Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal (reviewed in 2014 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette) [winner]
Opera Vita Aeterna by Theodore Beale (reviewed in 2014 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette)
The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang (reviewed in 2014 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette)
The Waiting Stars by Aliette de Bodard (reviewed in 2014 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette)

Longlisted Nominees
Bad Dream Girl by Seanan McGuire
Boat in Shadows, Crossing by Tori Truslow
Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea by Seanan McGuire
Forbid the Sea by Seanan McGuire
A Hollow Play by Amal El-Mohtar
In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind by Sarah Pinsker
Lift by Brandon Sanderson
The Litigation Master and the Monkey King by Ken Liu
Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters by Henry Lien
The Queen of the Night's Aria by Ian McDonald

Best Short Story

Finalists:
If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
The Ink Readers of Doi Saket by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
Selkie Stories Are for Losers by Sofia Samatar (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story) [winner]

Longlisted Nominees
The Best We Can by Carrie Vaughn
A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel by Ken Liu
The Dead Sea-Bottom Scrolls by Howard Waldrop
Dog's Body by Sarah A. Hoyt
Effigy Nights by Yoon Ha Lee
Failsafe by Karen Bovenmyer
The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars by Yoon Ha Lee
Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire
Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer by Kenneth Schneyer
Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Sing by Karin Tidbeck

Best Related Work

Finalists:
Queers Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the LGBTQ Fans Who Love It edited by Sigrid Ellis and Michael Damian Thomas
Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays, and Commentary (Volume 1) by Justin Landon and Jared Shurin
We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle, and Slaves Narrative by Kameron Hurley [winner]
Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, with Jeremy Zerfoss
Writing Excuses: Season 8 by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Jordan Sanderson

Longlisted Nominees:
Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack
Archive of Our Own by the Organization for Transformative Works
Benchmarks Revisited by Algis Budrys
The Mallet of Loving Correction by John Scalzi
The Monster Hunter International Employee Handbook and Roleplaying Game by Steven S. Long, Larry Correia, and Sam Flegal
Stars Fall Home by Seanan McGuire
"A Terrible Thing to Lose" - Zombie Science and Science Fiction in John Ringo's Under a Graveyard Sky by Tedd Roberts
Training for War by Tom Kratman
The Transgressive Iain Banks: Essays on a Writer Beyond Borders Martyn Colebrook and Katharine Cox
Tropes vs. Women by Anita Sarkeesian

Best Graphic Story

Finalists:
Girl Genius, Volume 13: Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Jimmy Broxton
The Meathouse Man adapted from the story by George R.R. Martin and illustrated by Raya Golden
Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples
Schlock Mercenary: Broken Wind by Howard Tayler [ineligible]
Time by Randall Munroe [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang and Lark Pien
Girl Genius, Volume 12: Agatha Heterodyne and the Siege of Mechanicsburg by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
Gunnerkrigg Court, Volume 4: Materia by Thomas Siddell
Hawkeye, Volume 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Javier Pulido
Lazarus, Volume 1: Family by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
Locke & Key, Volume 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Spacetrawler by Christopher Baldwin
The Unwritten Vol. 7: The Wound by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Young Avengers, Volume 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form

Finalists:
Frozen
Gravity [winner]
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim

Longlisted Nominees:
Ender's Game
Europa Report
Game of Thrones, Season 3
Her
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Orphan Black, Season 1
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Thor: The Dark World
Upstream Color
The World's End

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Finalists:
An Adventure in Space and Time
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor
The Five (ish) Doctors Reboot
Game of Thrones: The Rains of Castamere [winner]
Orphan Black: Variations Under Domestication

Longlisted Nominees:
Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor
Doctor Who: The Night of the Doctor
Fringe: An Enemy of Fate
Game of Thrones: And Now His Watch Is Ended
Game of Thrones: The Bear and the Maiden Fair
The Legend of Korra: Beginnings, Part 1 and Part 2
Orphan Black: Natural Selection
Orphan Black: Unconscious Selection
Sleepy Hollow: Pilot
Space Oddity by Chris Hadfield
Welcome to Night Vale: The Sandstorm A & B

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

Finalists:
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow [winner]
Jonathan Strahan
Sheila Williams

Longlisted Nominees:
Andy Cox
Gardner Dozois
Liz Gorinsky
George R.R. Martin
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Jared Shurin
Lynne M. Thomas
Gordon van Gelder
Ann VanderMeer

Best Professional Editor: Long Form

Finalists:
Ginjer Buchanan [winner]
Sheila Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Lee Harris
Toni Weisskopf

Longlisted Nominees:
Lou Anders
David G. Hartwell
Jane Johnson
Harriet McDougal
Beth Meacham
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Devi Pillai
William K Schafer
Simon Spanton
Gillian Redfearn

Best Professional Artist

Finalists:
Galen Dara
Julie Dillon [winner]
Dan dos Santos
John Harris
John Picacio
Fiona Staples

Longlisted Nominees:
Jim Burns
Bob Eggleton
Aly Fell
Joey Hi-Fi
Todd Lockwood
Stephan Martiniere
Chris McGrath
Kurt Miller
Marc Simonetti
Michael Whelan

Best Semi-Prozine

Finalists:
Apex Magazine edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Jason Sizemore, and Michael Damian Thomas
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki [winner]
Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison, Brit Mandelo, An Owomoyela, Julia Rios, Sonya Taaffe, Abigail Nussbaum, Rebecca Cross, Anaea Lay, and Shane Gavin

Longlisted Nominees:
Crossed Genres edited by Bart Leib and Kay Holt
Daily Science Fiction edited by Michele-Lee Barasso and Jonathan Laden
Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
Escape Pod edited by Norm Sherman
GigaNotoSaurus edited by Rashida J. Smith
Goblin Fruit edited by Amal El-Mohtar and Jessica Wick
Locus edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, Carolyn Cushman and Tim Pratt
New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kevin Maroney and David G. Hartwell
On-Spec edited by Diane Walton
Shimmer edited by Beth Wodzinski
Tähtivaeltaja edited by Toni Jerrman

Best Fanzine

Finalists:
The Book Smugglers edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James
A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher [winner]
Elitist Book Reviews edited by Steven Diamond
Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Christopher J. Garcia, Lynda E. Rucker, Pete Young, Colin Harris, and Helen J. Montgomery
Pornokitsch edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin

Longlisted Nominees:
Argentus edited by Steven H. Silver
Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
Chunga edited by Andy Hooper, Randy Byers, and Carl Juarez
The Drink Tank edited by Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon
File770 edited by Mike Glyer
Lady Business edited by Renay, Ana, and Jodie
Mad Genius Club edited by Amanda Green
SF Commentary edited by Bruce Gillespie
SF Signal edited by John DeNardo
Staffer's Book Review edited by Justin Landon

Best Fan Writer

Finalists:
Liz Bourke
Kameron Hurley [winner]
Foz Meadows
Abigail Nussbaum
Mark Oshiro

Longlisted Nominees:
James Bacon
Claire Brialey
Christopher J. Garcia
Justin Landon
Natalie Luhrs
Jonathan McCalmont
Cheryl Morgan
James Nicoll
Mark Plummer
Jared Shurin
Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist

Finalists:
Brad W. Foster
Mandie Manzano
Spring Schoenhuth
Steve Stiles
Sarah Webb [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Ninni Aalto
Euclase
Sue Mason
Randall Munroe
Angela Rizza
Maurine Starkey
Dan Steffan
Allie Strom
Taral Wayne
D. West

Best Fancast

Finalists:
The Coode Street Podcast by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
Galactic Suburbia by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
SF Signal Podcast by Patrick Hester [winner]
The Skiffy and Fanty Show by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink
Tea and Jeopardy by Emma Newman and Peter Newman
Verity! by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
The Writer and the Critic by Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond

Longlisted Nominees:
Fanboy Planet Podcast by Ric Bretschneider and Derek McCaw
I Should Be Writing by Mur Lafferty
Nerdvana by J.C. Vallaqua and Chuck Serface
Radio Free Skaro by Steven Schapansky, Warren Frey, and Chris Burgess
SF Crossing the Gulf by Karen Lord and Karen Burnham
Speculate - The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Gregory Wilson
Star Ship Sofa by Tony C. Smith
Sword and Laser by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Finalists:
Wesley Chu
Max Gladstone
Marko Kloos [nomination withdrawn]
Ramez Naam
Sofia Samatar [winner]
Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Longlisted Nominees:
Madeline Ashby
Leigh Bardugo
Brooke Bolander
Frank Chadwick
Adam Christopher
John Chu
Hugh Howey
Ann Leckie
Brian McClellan
Helene Wecker
Django Wexler
G. Willow Wilson

Go to previous year's longlist: 2013
Go to subsequent year's longlist: 2015

Go to 2014 Hugo Finalists and Winners

Hugo Longlist Project     Book Award Reviews     Home

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Blogger Hop May 27th - June 2nd: There Were 156 Sons of Magbish in the Census of Israel

Book Blogger Hop

Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Have you ever started a meme that became popular and is still in existence?

No, I have not. I participate in a couple of memes, but I haven't started any.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Friday, May 27, 2016

Follow Friday - The Battle of Tyndarus Between Rome and Carthage Was Fought in 257 B.C.


It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - Pinker Than Fiction Reviews.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: Give a Funny Blurb to a Book That Will "Tickle" Those Who Haven't Read the Book Yet.

"A change of seasons sends Essun on a journey to find her husband and daughter armed only with her uncanny affinity for the powers of the earth. Along the way, she meets two quirky companions - a young boy who never eats, and a childhood friend who has returned from studying at the most prestigious university in the land. Together, their adventures lead them to a beautiful underground city of crystal.

Damaya is rescued from her neglectful parents and taken to an elite academy where she learns mystical powers by day and is given free reign to explore the institution's vast library by night.

Syenite goes on a mission with her lover to rescue a coastal city. After uncovering an ancient mystery, they wind up living on a peaceful island where they both discover just how good life can be."

This blurb is entirely accurate, and completely misleading.


Follow Friday     Home

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Letters to Tiptree edited by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein


Letters By: Kathryn Allan, Marleen S. Barr, Stepahine Burgis, Joyce Chng, Aliette de Bodard, L. Timmel Duchamp, A.J. Fitzwater, Lisa Goldstein, Theodora Goss, Nicola Griffith, Valentin D. Ivanov, Gwyneth Jones, Rose Lemberg, Sylvia Kelso, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Brit Mandelo, Sandra McDonald, Seanan McGuire, Karen Miller, Judith Moffett, Cheryl Morgan, Pat Murphy, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Justina Robson, Nisi Shawl, Nike Sulway, Lucy Sussex, Rachel Swirsky, Bogi Takács, Lynne M. Thomas, Catherynne Valente, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Jo Walton, Tehani Wessely, and Tess Williams

Letters From: Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and Alice B. Sheldon

Other Material:
Introduction to Star Songs of an Old Primate by Ursula K. Le Guin
Introducton to Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by Michael Swanwick
Excerpt from The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminism by Helen Merrick
Excerpt from Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction by Justine Larbalestier

Full review: There are some science fiction authors who have changed the conversation of the genre in ways that are almost impossible to measure. James Tiptree, Jr., also known as Alice B. Sheldon, was one of those authors, and the impact she had on the landscape of science fiction was wildly disproportionate to even the magnificent oevre of work. Published during the centenary of Sheldon's birth, Letters to Tiptree is primarily a collection of letters from authors currently working in the field addressed to Sheldon, each one expressing, in their own way, what Sheldon and Sheldon's work meant to them. The volume also contains some correspondence between Tiptree, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Joanna Russ, as well as some introductions written for Tiptree's works and excerpts from a pair of essays about the author.

James Tiptree, Jr. started publishing in the science fiction field in 1967, and over the next ten years produced some of the most brilliant works of short fiction the genre has ever seen. From The Girl Who Was Plugged In, to Love Is the Plan, the Plan Is Death, to The Women Men Don't See to Houston, Houston, Do You Read, Tiptree carved out a place in science fiction as a writer who turned a brutally harsh eye upon issues related to gender and sexuality. Through his career, Tiptree refused to make public appearances, give interviews, or otherwise communicate with people in person, but did correspond by mail with many fans, editors, and other writers. In the late 1970s, aftr a decade of secrecy, a comment in a letter about her mother's death and obituary led to the revelation that Tiptree was actually Alice B. Sheldon, turning upside down many of the assumptions that many in the industry had believed about "male" and "female" writing. Even after the revelation, Sheldon remained, and remains, one of the most enigmatic figures in science fiction. In her letters she reveals that she had relationships with women, but she was so attached to the man she married that she literally could not bear to live without him. Sheldon may or may not have identified as transgender as well: The evidence on this point is somewhat unclear. What is certain is that she left behind a collection of stories that have fascinated and inspired both her contemporaries and her literary descendants.

The meat of Letters to Tiptree is, as one might expect, the collection of letters written by a collection of authors, editors, critics, and fans all addressed to the titular author. The roster of letter writers consists of thirty-nine of the most prominent figures in science fiction today, including Aliette de Bodard, Rachel Swirsky, Cat Rambo, Seanan McGuire, Jo Walton, and Catherynne Valente. Given the roster assembled for this project, it should come as no surprise that the letter are all insightful and fascinating to read, and are all wildly different as well. One recurring theme to the letters is the difficultly of knowing how to address Tiptree - does one call her Mr. Tiptree? Mrs. Sheldon? Alli? Where does Sheldon's other pseudonym Raccoona fit in? In a way, this single issue encapsulates the ambiguous place that Alice Sheldon holds in the history of science fiction. Through the course of the book, multiple letter writers grapple with the conundrum of Tiptree's identity and how to understand the author's legacy.

Although there are commonalities to many of the letters - it is obvious that each letter writer loves and respects Sheldon and her work - each one is unique in its particular subject matter and emotional tone. Some of the letters are filled with regret, either that the writer didn't get a chance to meet Sheldon when she was alive, or because the writer never had the experience of reading Tiptree's work before his identity as Sheldon was revealed, and then read them again with a new eye. Some of the letters are sympathetic, almost commiserating with Sheldon about their common struggles concerning gender, sexuality, and mental illness. Some of the letters analyze Tiptree's writing. Others speak to the inspiration Tiptree was for the letter writer. One is angry. Two are in the form of poetry. Because of the structure of this book, with such a diverse array of voices, each speaking on a subject dear to its writer's heart, it is probably not a work than can be binge read. Instead, it must be digested slowly, one letter at a time. A three hundred and sixty page long book usually takes me a day or two to read. Letters to Tiptree took almost a month. Not because the book was poorly written, but rather because so many of the letters were so powerfully written that after reading many of them, I simply had to set the book down and contemplate what I had just read.

Following the collection of letters written for this volume, the next section features letters written to Tiptree during Sheldon's lifetime by Ursula K. Le Guin and Joanna Russ, and a few letters from Sheldon in response. These letters are reprints of material that has appeared before, but in this collection they take on a new dimension, offering a contemporary and personal counterpoint to the letters from the previous section. One can see the love and concern these women had for one another, and in Sheldon's letters one can see the very human person behind the facade. Tiptree was, and remains, such a towering figure in science fiction as a whole, and feminist science fiction in particular, that it would be easy to forget that she was often crippled with self-doubt, apparently intensely uncomfortable dealing with people in person, and distraught over the fact that those she counted as friends might abandon her when her true identity was revealed. To the extent that the letters in the first section veer into hagiographic territory, the letters in this one serve as a beautiful and poignant antidote.

The third section, featuring introductions to two of Tiptree's works - one by Ursula K. Le Guin, and the other by Michael Swanwick - and excerpts from Helen Merrick's The Secret Feminist Cabal and Justine Larbalestier's Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction, is almost anticlimactic in comparison with the previous segments of the book. All of these pieces are wonderfully crafted and insightful, offering meditations on Tiptree's work and its meaning in the context of the history of science fiction with respect to how gender fits into the puzzle, and, for Larbalestier's piece, an exploration of what Tiptree's experience says about gender in more general terms. But these works are all detached and professional, almost academic in quality, and as a result lack the raw emotional intensity of the portions of the book that had gone before, and as a result, they seem like almost a let down. They remain, however, a set of incredibly intelligent and incisive pieces even though they feel somewhat flat and colorless after the often brutally honest letters that the book led with.

The last few pages of the book are letters from Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce, addressed to Tiptree. Like so many other letters in the book, they express their love for Tiptree, and their fascination with both her work and the enigma that she represents. As a means of capping off the volume, these two letters are pitch perfect, summing up the necessity of the project in just a few pages, and offering just the right amount of adoration and respect. Letters to Tiptree is a beautiful love note to an author who left far too soon and with too much left unsaid, and is a penetrating and captivating examination of what work she did produce and her place in the science fiction constellation.

Previous Locus Award Winner for Best Nonfiction, Related, or Reference Work: What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton
Subsequent Locus Award Winner for Best Nonfiction, Related, or Reference Work: TBD

Potential 2016 Hugo Nominees

List of Locus Award Winners for Best Nonfiction, Related, or Reference Work

2016 Locus Award Nominees

Alexandra Pierce     Alisa Krasnostein     Book Reviews A-Z     Home

Monday, May 23, 2016

Musical Monday - Down Today by Jonathan Coulton


Today I am up and I won't be coming down. I'm not going to say why. I'm just going to say that I've got some news that has put me in the clouds and there is no way that my mood will change until at least tomorrow.

Previous Musical Monday: Dusty California by Paul & Storm
Subsequent Musical Monday: Promises by the Cranberries

Jonathan Coulton     Musical Monday     Home

Sunday, May 22, 2016

2015 Hugo Award Longlist

As a practical matter, starting the Hugo Longlist Project with the most recent set of longlisted nominees and working backwards in time makes sense. Records get more difficult to obtain as one goes back further in time, and I am not even entirely sure how far back I'll be able to find records, so starting at the "beginning" is something of a moving target right now. On the other hand, due to the presence of the Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns, starting with the 2015 Hugo Longlist results is probably one of the worst possible places to start. Enough pixels have been spilt about the overlapping bloc voting campaigns that dominated the Hugo nominations in 2015 that I am not going to go into details here, but the fact is that the two slates affected the nominations so much that there is no way to treat the year's results as anything but an outlier from the norm. Time will tell if the outlier becomes the new normal, but as of yet, the jury is still out. Paradoxically, the existence of the Puppy slates makes 2015 the perfect year to used as the start of the longlist project, as the unusual nature of the list of finalists is what prompted many people to begin looking at the longlist to begin with.

Because of the existence of the Puppy campaigns, the 2015 longlist is unusual in that most of the finalists are widely regarded as being of lower quality than the works that appeared on the remaining "longlist" section. This inversion led directly to the creation of David Steffen's Long List Anthology, a collection that assembled many of the stories that didn't make the list of finalists, but did receive sufficient nominations to appear in the top fifteen nominees in their category. To a certain extent, this inversion inspired this project, which exists in part so as to be able to give some honorary recognition to works that didn't quite make it to the list of finalists. 2015 was also unusual for the Hugo Awards due to the large number of finalists who declined or withdrew their nominations, or who were declared ineligible (usually due to not being published in 2014 as required by the rules of the award). The increased frequency of withdrawals and disqualifications is also a result of the Puppy campaigns.

The project primarily exists to provide historical context for the lists of finalists, and to evaluate the changing landscape of genre fiction over the years. In that last endeavor, looking to the list of winners for an award is insufficient, as that only gives a single point of data to work with. A fleshed out shortlist of finalists serves the purpose better, and a longlist of reasonable length works even better. On the other hand, a longlist that is too long is probably not going to provide worthwhile information, as it eventually becomes so inclusive as to be unable to inform one of the aggregate tastes of genre fiction fans in any meaningful manner. To get a good understanding of the landscape of genre fiction, one should probably include information from multiple awards, but that is a conversation for another time.

Starting this project with the most recent long lists and working backwards poses some interesting challenges for evaluating trends in genre fiction, and one of them involves determining whether seeing people and works reach the longlist is an indicator of their prospects for future nominations. Because I am working backwards, it is difficult at this point to evaluate whether this is, in fact, true. This is further complicated by the fact that the nominations for 2015 (and now 2016) have been anything but typical in nature. If there is predictive power in being "longlisted", then we could expect to see Elizabeth Bear and Ursula Vernon receive Hugo nominations in the future, as both had two stories reach the longlist. We can also expect to see most Chinese based science fiction authors reach the Hugo ballot in the future, as Xia Jia had a story reach the longlist to go along with Cixin Liu's Hugo victory for The Three-Body Problem.

Operating under the assumption that trends on the longlist nominees are reflective of the sentiment of fandom in general, the victory for Orphan Black in the Short Form Best Dramatic Presentation category is even more impressive an upset than previously believed. Given the presence of four episodes of Game of Thrones, three episodes of Doctor Who, and two episodes of Agents of Shield, one can get something of a feel for the general television viewing habits of fandom as a whole. Legend of Korra also made a strong showing: Even though it only had one episode nominated in the Short Form category, the entirely of season four of the show was nominated in the Long Form Best Dramatic Presentation Category.

Best Novel

Finalists:
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
The Dark Between the Stars by Kevin J. Anderson
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos [nomination withdrawn]
Monster Hunter Nemesis by Larry Correia [nomination declined]
Skin Game by Jim Butcher
The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu) [winner]

Longlisted Nominees:
Annihilation by Jeff Vandemeer
The Chaplain’s War by Brad Torgersen
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Lock In by John Scalzi
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
My Real Children by Jo Walton
Trial By Fire by Charles E. Gannon
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Best Novella

Finalists:
Big Boys Don’t Cry by Tom Kratman
One Bright Star to Guide Them by John C. Wright
Pale Realms of Shade by John C. Wright
The Plural of Helen of Troy by John C. Wright

Longlisted Nominees:
Dream Houses by Genevieve Valentine
Grand Jeté(The Great Leap) by Rachel Swirsky
Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson
The Mothers of Voorhisville by Mary Rickert
The Regular by Ken Liu
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome by John Scalzi
We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory
Where the Trains Turn by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen
Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress

Best Novelette

Finalists:
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium by Gray Rinehart (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette)
The Day the World Turned Upside Down by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Novelette) [winner]
The Journeyman: In the Stone House by Michael F. Flynn (reviewed in Analog Science Fiction and Fact: Vol. CXXXIV, No. 6 (June 2014))
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus by John C. Wright [ineligible]

Longlisted Nominees
The Bonedrake’s Penance by Yoon Ha Lee
The Devil In America by Kai Ashante Wilson
Each to Each by Seanan McGuire
A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i by Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Machado
The Litany of Earth by Ruthana Emrys
The Magician and Laplace’s Demon by Tom Crosshill (reviewed in 2015 WSFA Small Press Award Voting)
Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy by Xia Jia
We are the Cloud by Sam J. Miller
A Year and a Day in Old Therandane by Scott Lynch

Best Short Story

Finalists:
Goodnight Stars by Annie Bellet [nomination withdrawn] (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
On A Spiritual Plain by Lou Antonelli (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
The Parliament of Beasts and Birds by John C. Wright (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
A Single Samurai by Steve Diamond (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)
Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer by Megan Grey [ineligible]
Turncoat by Steve Rzasa (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Short Story)

Longlisted Nominees
The Breath of War by Aliette de Bodard
Covenant by Elizabeth Bear
Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon (reviewed in 2015 WSFA Small Press Award Voting)
A Kiss With Teeth by Max Gladstone
Makeisha in Time by Rachael K. Jones
This Chance Planet by Elizabeth Bear
Toad Words by Ursula Vernon
The Truth About Owls by Amal El-Mohtar
The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family by Usman T. Malik
When it Ends, He Catches Her by Eugie Foster

Best Related Work

Finalists:
The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF by Ken Burnside
Letters from Gardner by Lou Antonelli
Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth by John C. Wright
Why Science Is Never Settled by Tedd Roberts
Wisdom from My Internet by Michael Z. Williamson

Longlisted Nominees:
Chicks Dig Gaming by Jennifer Brozek, Robert Smith, and Lars Pearson
Greg Egan (Modern Masters of Science Fiction) by Karen Burnham
Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF by Jim C. Hines
Jodorovsky’s Dune (Documentary) directed by Frank Pavich
Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better: 1948-1988 by William H. Patterson, Jr.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology by Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Taylor
Speculative Fiction 2013: The Year’s Best Online Reviews, Essays, and Commentary by Ana Grilo and Thea James
Tropes vs Women: Women as Background Decoration by Anita Sarkeesian
What Makes This Book so Great by Jo Walton

Best Graphic Story

Finalists:
Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch
Saga, Volume Three by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Sex Criminals, Volume One: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
The Zombie Nation Book #2: Reduce Reuse Reanimate by Carter Reid (reviewed in 2015 Hugo Voting - Best Graphic Story)

Longlisted Nominees:
Girl Genius, Volume 14: Agatha Hererodyne and the Beast of the Rails by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Order of the Stick: Blood Runs in the Family by Rich Burlew
Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga, Volume Four by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Schlock Mercenary: Broken Wind by Howard Taylor
Sing No Evil by J.P. Ahonen and K.P. Alare
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
The Wicked & The Divine, Volume 1: The Faust Act by Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form

Finalists:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy [winner]
Interstellar
The Lego Movie

Longlisted Nominees:
Big Hero 6
Coherence
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The Legend of Korra, Season 4
Maleficent
The Maze Runner
Snowpiercer
Worldcon Philharmonic Orchestra (Concert)
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Finalists:
The Flash: Pilot
Doctor Who: Listen
Game of Thrones: The Mountain and the Viper
Grimm: Once We Were Gods
Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Been Tried Yet [winner]
Supernatural: Dog Dean Afternoon [ineligible]

Longlisted Nominees:
Welcome to Night Vale: Old Oak Doors, Part A and B
Adventure Time: The Prince Who Wanted Everything
Doctor Who: Flatline
Doctor Who: Mummy on the Orient Express
Agents of Shield: Turn, Turn, Turn
Agents of Shield: What They Become
Game of Thrones: The Children
Game of Thrones: The Lion and the Rose
Game of Thrones: The Watchers on The Wall
The Legend of Korra: The Last Stand

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

Finalists:
Theodore Beale
Jennifer Brozek
Mike Resnick
Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Edmund R. Schubert [nomination withdrawn]

Longlisted Nominees:
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois
William Schafer
Jonathan Strahan
Lynne M. Thomas
Ann VanderMeer
Sheila Williams
Christie Yant

Best Professional Editor: Long Form

Finalists:
Theodore Beale
Sheila Gilbert
Jim Minz
Anne Sowards
Toni Weisskopf

Longlisted Nominees:
Liz Gorinsky
David G. Hartwell
Lee Harris
Jenni Hill
Beth Meacham
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Marco Palmieri
Anne Perry
Devi Pillai
Gillian Redfeam

Best Professional Artist

Finalists:
Julie Dillon [winner]
Kirk DouPounce
Jon Eno [ineligible]
Nick Greenwood
Alan Pollack
Carter Reid

Longlisted Nominees:
Richard Anderson
Galen Dara
Dan Dos Santos
Bob Eggleton
Donata Giancola
John Harris
Stephan Martiniere
Chris McGrath
Victo Ngai
John Picacio
Fiona Staples

Best Semi-Prozine

Finalists:
Abyss & Apex edited by Wendy Delmater
Andromeda Spaceways InFlight Magazine edited by David Kernot and Sue Bursztynski
Beneath Ceaseless Skies edited by Scott H. Andrews
Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant [winner]
Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show edited by Edmund R. Schubert [nomination withdrawn]
Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison

Longlisted Nominees:
Apex edited by John Joseph Adams
Apex Magazine edited by Jason Sizemore
The Book Smugglers edited by Ana Grilo, Thea James
Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke
Crossed Genres edited by Bart R. Leib, Kay T. Holt, and Kelly Jennings
Escape Pod edited by Norm Sherman
Goblin Fruit edited by Amal El-Mohtar and Caitlyn Paxson
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Pornokitsch edited by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin
Sci Phi Journal edited by Jason Rennie

Best Fanzine

Finalists:
Black Gate edited by John O’Neill [nomination withdrawn]
Elitist Book Reviews edited by Steven Diamond
Journey Planet edited by James Bacon, Christopher J. Garcia, Colin Harris, Alissa McKersie, and Helen J. Montgomery [winner]
The Revenge of Hump Day edited by Tim Bolgeo
Tangent SF Online edited by Dave Truesdale

Longlisted Nominees:
Argentus edited by Steven H. Silver
Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
A Dribble of Ink edited by Aiden Moher
The Drink Tank edited by Vanessa Applegate, James Bacon, and Christopher J Garcia
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Lady Business edited by Renay and Jodie
Nerds of a Feather edited by The G and Vance Kotrla
SF Mistressworks edited by Ian Sales
SF Signal edited by Jon Denardo
Shiny Book Review edited by Jason Cordova and Barb Caffrey

Best Fan Writer

Finalists:
Dave Freer
Amanda S. Green
Jeffro Johnson
Laura J. Mixon [winner]
Cedar Sanderson
Matthew David Surridge [nomination declined]

Longlisted Nominees:
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw
Liz Bourke
Daniel Enness
Christopher J Garcia
Natalie Luhrs
Foz Meadows
Dierdre Saoirse Moen
James Nicoll
Abigail Nussbaum
Mark Oshiro

Best Fan Artist

Finalists:
Ninni Aalto
Brad W. Foster
Elizabeth Leggett [winner]
Spring Schoenhuth
Steve Stiles

Longlisted Nominees:
Euclase
Kuldar Leement
Vesa Lehtimäki
Richard Mann
Mandie Manzano
Autun Parser
Maurine Starkey
Taral Wayne
Sarah Webb
Alice X. Zhang

Best Fancast

Finalists:
Adventures in SF Publishing by Brent Bower, Kristi Charish, Timothy C. Ward, and Moses Siregar III
Dungeon Crawlers Radio by Daniel Swenson, Travis Alexander, Scott Tomlin, Dale Newton, and Damien Swenson
Galactic Suburbia by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Andrew Finch [winner]
The Sci Phi Show by Jason Rennie
Tea and Jeopardy by Emma Newman and Peter Newman

Longlisted Nominees:
The Coode Street Podcast by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
Nerdvana Podcast by J.C. Arkham and Chuck Serface
PodCastle by Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind
Rocket Talk by Justin Landon
The Skiffy and Fanty Show by Shaun Duke, Julia Rios, Paul Weimer, Mike Underwood, David Annadale, Rachael Acks, and Jen Zink
Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans by Gregory Wilson and Brad Beaulieu
Sword and Laser by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
Verity! by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink and Cecil Baldwin
The Writer and the Critic by Kristyn McDermott and Ian Mond

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Finalists:
Wesley Chu [winner]
Jason Cordova
Kary English
Rolf Nelson
Eric S. Raymond

Longlisted Nominees:
Rachael K. Jones
Usman T. Malik
Carmen Maria Marchado
Brian McClellan
Sam J. Miller
Helene Wecker
Andy Weir
Django Wexler
Alyssa Wong
J.Y. Yang
Isabel Yap

Go to previous year's longlist: 2014
Go to subsequent year's longlist: 2016

Go to 2015 Hugo Finalists and Winners

Hugo Longlist Project     Book Award Reviews     Home

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Book Blogger Hop May 20th - May 26th - The Romans Began to Abandon Hadrian's Wall in 155 A.D.

Book Blogger Hop

Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you keep a Blog Roll List?

I do, but to be perfectly honest I don't spend any time at all curating it or maintaining it. As a result it is almost certainly hopelessly out of date and probably useless.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Friday, May 20, 2016

Follow Friday - There Were 256 Men in a Syntagma in Alexander's Macedonian Army


It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - Naga Sanctuary.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: Ten Reasons You Love Your Fave Genre.

My favorite genre is, and probably always will be, science fiction. Here are ten reasons I love the genre:
  1. It is about the Future. Science fiction contemplates possible futures, imagining what the world might be like if everyone could teleport, or how people might respond to a much warmer planet, or any number of other different scenarios.
  2. It is about the past. Science fiction considers what the world might have been like if Babbage had actually built his difference engine, or if the steam-style technology imagined by Jules Verne had actually worked.
  3. In the end, it is really about the present. Science fiction allows an author to examine contemporary society and politics from a fresh perspective, unsaddled by much of the baggage that would come from trying to tackle such issues without the use of a metaphor. For example, the original Star Trek was able to take on issues like racism, imperialism, and the Vietnam War on a nationally broadcast show in an era when network executives shied away from shows that dealt with such issues.
  4. It is about alternatives. Much science fiction asks the question "what if", and then examines the implications of those ideas. What if people could change sex? What if there wasn't actually a world to stand on, but instead everyone lived in a gravity free zone of oxygen orbiting a star? What if history was so long that measuring years became meaningless and technology became like magic? Science fiction examines these sorts of questions all the time.
  5. It is about dystopian societies. From The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to A World Out of Time by Larry Niven to We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, to Revolt in 2100 by Robert Heinlein, science fiction is full of stories about what happens when society becomes something that we would regard as a nightmare. Science fiction examines what it would be like to live in such a society, how one would come about, and how one might fall.
  6. It is about utopian societies. Though not as common as dystopias, utopias show up in science fiction often enough to be interesting. Most, like the society at the end of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series or the society in Orson Scott Card's Worthing Saga, depict utpoias with hidden flaws, and that often makes them careen into being dytopias, but the constructed worlds that are seen as utopian are often fascinating for their flawed beauty.
  7. It is about the disasters. Science fiction is often about the end of the world, and what comes after as people pick of the pieces. A tradition that includes Earth Abides by George Stuart, Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, and A Boy and His Dog by Harlan Ellison, science fiction is rich with stories about people living in the aftermath of the collapse of civilization, and highlighting what might survive and what might not.
  8. It is about aliens. Science fiction imagines what other life might be like, and imagines how they might interact with humanity. What if there were microscopic aliens living on the surface of an neutron star? What if there were aliens who lives in gas giants and breathed hydrogen? What would they be like? How would we communicate with them?
  9. It is about humanity. Science fiction looks at humanity's future, examines humanity's past, and criticizes humanity's present. It also looks at what humans are like, and could be like. What if humans could reshape themselves on a regular basis? What if humans were replaced by our own creations who lived in ways that imitate us? How will we face the challenges of space? The challenges of our own impending extinction?
  10. Science fiction has spaceships. Need I say more?

Follow Friday     Home

Monday, May 16, 2016

Musical Monday - Dusty California by Paul & Storm


Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Avengers were also a rock band? Apparently, Paul & Storm did, and they came up with a song that sounds like it was taken straight off of an Eagles album from the 1970s.

To a certain extent, a song about superheroes who are in a rock band is pretty much something that really should sound like it came from the 1970s, because there were so many television shows from that era that more or less had that as the theme. Well, sort of had that as the theme. And they were mostly cartoons. I remember the Jackson 5 had an animated show about the band where they fought villains and saved the day. There were Josie and the Pussycats, who were more or less an all female version of the Scooby Doo gang with instruments. Even though the Archies animated show only lasted one season in 1968, it produced the hit single Sugar, Sugar, and ran in reruns through most of the 1970s. Kiss starred in the terrible movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park in 1978 where the band members all had super powers. I'm just surprised that Sid and Marty Krofft didn't have a live action show about rock star super heroes with giant puppets and stop motion animation, although they did have a show featuring the fictitious rock band Kool and the Kongs as well as the Bay City Rollers Show.

I want to live in the alternate universe where one of the biggest media properties is a story about a country rock band that got hit by cosmic rays emitted from a meteor and gained super powers. I'd watch that movie.

Previous Musical Monday: Come and Get Your Love by Redbone
Subsequent Musical Monday: Down Today by Jonathan Coulton

Paul & Storm     Musical Monday     Home