Not a Blog

For Your Consideration: Stuff Not By Me

March 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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Now that I’ve done the de rigeur listing of all of my own stuff published in 2014, I wanted to say a few words about some other things that I will nominating.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM. It was a great year for SF and fantasy movies. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was a lot of fun and will undoubtedly end up on the final ballot… but I’d go with INTERSTELLAR as the best of the year. The most ambitious and challenging SF film since Kubrick’s 2001. A feast for the eyes, and a film that demands to be seen more than once. I will also be nominating a long-shot: PREDESTINATION, the film version of the ultimate time-travel story, Robert A. Heinlein’s “All You Zombies.” RAH himself would have liked this, I suspect: very faithful to his story, well directed, superb acting (Sarah Snook especially). It’s a small film compared to blockbusters like GUARDIANS and INTERSTELLAR, but I hope it won’t be overlooked.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM. Sure, I’d be thrilled if one or more episodes of GAME OF THRONES made the ballot… but I have to admit, there was a LOT of great SF and fantasy on TV last year. It would great if the voters would start looking beyond our show and DOCTOR WHO. ORPHAN BLACK got a nomination last year, and probably deserves another one. The British anthology series BLACK MIRROR had some wonderfully original and mind-bending segments. Horror fans had a lot to enjoy between THE WALKING DEAD, Z NATION, and PENNY DREADFUL. And for something truly from left field, the always witty crime romcom CASTLE has been known to wander into SF from time to time. The time travel episode from 2013 was overlooked, alas… but 2014 included “The Time of Our Lives,” a parallel worlds story that I enjoyed almost as much.

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST. John Picacio, of course. Donato, for the calendar, as mentioned in my last post. But also MICHAEL KOMARCK, and JOHN HOWE, and ALAN LEE, and MAGALI VILLENUEVE.

BEST NOVEL. The big one. I read a lot of good novels in 2014… but, alas, not all of them were published in 2014. So many books, so little time, it’s hard to match the reading to the awards calendar. One of the 2014 books that I did read stands above all the others, however: STATION ELEVEN, by Emily St. John Mandel. As best I can recall, I’ve never met Emily St. John Mandel, and I’ve never read anything else by her, but I won’t soon forget STATION ELEVEN. One could, I suppose, call it a post-apocolypse novel, and it is that, but all the usual tropes of that subgenre are missing here, and half the book is devoted to flashbacks to before the coming of the virus that wipes out the world, so it’s also a novel of character, and there’s this thread about a comic book and Doctor Eleven and a giant space station and… oh, well, this book should NOT have worked, but it does. It’s a deeply melancholy novel, but beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac… a book that I will long remember, and return to.

BEST FAN WRITER. There have been arguments in the past about what, precisely, constitutes fan writing, and who should or should not be eligible for this award. LAURA J. MIXON is a professional writer, and a very talented one, with half a dozen strong novels under her own name and her pseudonym of M.J. Locke… but this year she published on-line, in a non-professional and unpaid capacity, ‘A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names,’ a detailed, eloquent, and devastating expose of the venomous internet troll best known as ‘Requires Hate’ and ‘Winterfox.’ You can find it here: It’s not your usual sort of fan writing, admittedly… but it wasn’t done for money, and it wasn’t published professionally, and it’s a terrific piece of journalism, an important piece that speaks to issues of growing importance to fandom in this internet age. So I’m nominating Mixon for Best Fan Writer, and I urge you to do the same.

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For Your Consideration: Stuff By Me

March 8, 2015 at 5:57 pm
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THE WINDS OF WINTER did not come out in 2014, as some of you noticed. But I did have a lot of other material published and broadcast that is eligible for Hugo consideration.

The fourth season of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES leads that list. ‘Dramatic Presentation’ is split into two categories, Short Form and Long Form. The former is mostly TV shows, the latter mostly films, though the actual division is by running time. GAME OF THRONES is actually eligible in both categories… though should it be nominated in both, the rules require us to bow out of one in favor of the other.

Season four, considered as a whole, can be nominated in Long Form.

Individual episodes are eligible for nomination in Short Form. You do need to know the episode titles. And yes, more than one episode of a given show can be nominated. Last year at Loncon the Short Form shortlist pitted one episode of ORPHAN BLACK and one episode of GAME OF THRONES against four episodes of DOCTOR WHO. That’s not unusual. The DR. WHO fans are very well organized.

I am, to be sure, enormously prejudiced, but I thought we had some very strong episodes last season. Of course, I am very proud of episode two, “The Lion and the Rose,” since I wrote the script myself for that one. For those of you who don’t remember titles, that was the ‘purple wedding’ episode. Episode nine, “The Watchers on the Walls,” scripted by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and directed by Neil Marshall, was also huge for us: that was the battle episode, devoted entirely to the fight for the Wall. Biggest action sequences we’ve ever done. Dan and David also scripted episode ten, “The Children,” with the final confrontation between the Imp and his father. Oh, and there was also “The Laws of Gods and Men,” aka the Trial of Tyrion Lannister, scripted by Byron Cogman, with its amazing performances by Peter Dinklage and Sibel Kekilli, and “The Mountain and the Viper,” another script by Dan and Dave, wherein the Mountain That Rides faces off against the Red Viper of Dorne.

The other five episodes had some good stuff too, I think.

Aside from the television show…

ROGUES was published last year, which means that Gardner Dozois and I are both eligible for nomination as Best Editor, Short Form. Also, all the stories in ROGUES are eligible in the Short Story and Novelette categories. We had some terrific stories in that book. Take a look.

LOWBALL, the twenty-second volume in the Wild Cards series, was also published in 2014. That one I co-edited with Melinda Snodgrass. (Shared world stories NEVER get nominated for Hugos, but I mention this for the sake of completeness).

And then there’s the odd duck: THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE, the huge and concordance of the world of Westeros by Elio Garcia, Linda Antonnson, and yours truly. Exhaustive, gorgeously illustrated throughout, and years in the making.

WOIAF cover

To tell the truth, I am not sure what category the worldbook belongs in. It’s not a novel in any traditional sense, and there’s no “fake history” category, so I suppose it fits best in “Best Related Book.”

Lastly… and not strictly by me… I want to mention the latest Ice & Fire calendar. It’s the 2015 calendar, but it came out in July 2014, debuting at Comicon. The calendar itself is not eligible for anything… but the artist certainly is.


The 2015 calender was painted by DONATO GIANCOLA, and if he doesn’t deserve a nomination for Best Professional Artist for his work therein, I don’t know who does.

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Season 5 – The Wheel

March 8, 2015 at 5:22 pm
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HBO has released a new trailer for season five of GAME OF THRONES.

This one is called "The Wheel."


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Hugo Nomination Deadline Draws Nigh

March 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm
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It’s that time again: time for my annual Not A Blog post urging all the fans and readers out there to nominate their favorite books, stories, films, and writers from last year for the Hugo Awards.

Actually, it’s probably PAST that time. Nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards for the best sf and fantasy of 2014 close in two days, so I probably should have made this post a month ago. What can I say? I was busy. Too little time, too much to do. But here I am regardless.

The Hugos are the oldest awards in our genre, and to my mind, the most meaningful. These are fan awards, given by the readers… your awards, in short. They have been given annually at the World Science Fiction Convention since 1953 (well, except for 1954, but that’s a detail). ((And no, I don’t count the ‘Retro-Hugos,’ which are another thing entirely)). This year they will be award at Sasquan in Spokane, Washington in August. To nominate, you need to be either an attending or supporting member of Sasquan, OR of last year’s London worldcon, Loncon, OR next year’s worldcon, MidAmericon II. Easy enough to become a member if you’re not signed up yet… and if you can’t attend, well, that’s what the inexpensive supporting memberships are for.

You can nominate on line at

All the rules and definitions are there as well.

In recent years it has become fashionable in some quarters to bitch about the Hugo ballot (ah, sweet Internet). But the truth is, the ballot is what we make it. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of people vote for the Hugos when presented with the final ballot. Far fewer ever bother to nominate. In some categories, a couple dozen votes is all that’s required to win a place on the shortlist.

And it IS an honor just to be nominated. Even if you lose. (I should know. I’ve won a few, but I’ve lost a lot more. Hell, in 1976 I founded the Hugo Losers’ Club with Gardner Dozois, but that’s a story for another day).

I am going to follow this with a couple more posts wherein I will make my own recommendations of stories and films that you might want to consider when filling in your ballot. Read them or not, as you wish. The important thing is not what you nominate, but that you do nominate.

Friends, fans, readers… this is your award. Let your voice be heard.

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