It looks like it’s IO9 day today; many if not most of my links came from their site. Lots of awards and comics news this week.
John Hodgeson played MC at the Nebula Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 14. He was clever and funny. The Nebula Weekend took place in Chicago this year.
C.J. Cherryh’s Grandmaster acceptance speech contained this inspiring line, “I am far from finished!” Cherryh was also given a Grandmaster trading card; that was pretty cool.
The Nebula winners are:
Best Novel: Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Reviews.)
Best Novella: “Binti,” by NNedi Okorafor (Reviews.)
Best Novelette: “Our Lady of the Open Road,” by Sarah Pisker
Best short story: “Hunger Daughters of Starving Mothers,” by Alyssa Wong. (Review.)
This is a link to a photo taken by John Scalzi, because it shows off dresses worn by Alyssa Wong and Fran Wilde, and they are both lovely.
Check Chaos Horizon’s prediction versus the actual Nebula nod here. (Spoiler alert…)
Across the plains in Las Vegas, The Stoker Awards were also presented:
Novel: Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Temblay
First Novel: Mr Suicide by Nicole Cushing
YA Novel: Devil’s Pockets, by John Dixon
The link lists the short fiction winners as well.
Have Fun Storming the Castle:
Our own reviewer Joao Eira will be stepping down from reviewer for at least a while. College and graduate schools make a lot of demands on a person! Joao will still check in from time to time with Guest Reviews, but for now he will be focused on his education. We wish you all the best and look forward to having you back!
Books and Writing:
Hilary Mantel isn’t known for writing horror, but this period piece set in Ireland is deeply, deeply scary.
I love it when the internet tells me that it’s good for me to do something I already love to do. Examples have included going for walks, drinking coffee and eating chocolate. Now, thanks to Lifehack, I can add reading to the list.
Rob Bricken steps into some pretty big shoes at IO9. I doubt that Charlie Jane Anders’s shoe size is extraordinary, but her stride across the pop-culture landscape when she helmed this site certainly was. Bricken writes a strong and charming statement on taking the baton from Anders. (Actually, he uses Star Trek metaphors.)
GRRM shares a new excerpt from Winds of Winter and from the upcoming WILD CARDS book High Stakes (I am warned that this excerpt is Lovecraftian, gory and might be disturbing but I haven’t read the whole thing myself).
The Edge Hill Short Story Prize shortlist has been announced.
Over at The Guardian, John Mullen writes a long and thoughtful column defending… plot. Coming from the literary tradition, Mullen has been taught to under-value plot, but his reading and criticism experience has turned him around, and his points here are great ones.
Also from The Guardian comes an article about a reading revolution in Africa… thanks to cell phones. Last week I linked to something about the cost of a book; here is one solution. Stories will always find a way!
Science and Technology:
Elon Musk’s company tested its Hyperloop last week, with a dream to make high-speed travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Yes, the future is here, but Mr. Musk, we still need our flying cars.
Acclaimed science fiction writer Liu Cixin has had a dinosaur relic named in his honor, in China. The artifact is a Caririchnium, believed to be the prints of a dinosaur about the size of a small dog. Thanks to File 770. (The Eastday site is temperamental. I had to click the Refresh button to get it to display, but it does eventually.)
On Twitter, Ann Leckie remarked that she was surprised to discover a nail polish color named after her. It’s “taupey-gray” with an “overlay of spacey fabulousness,” and the description also gives a great plug for Leckie’s books. (It turns out Nerdlacquer has several shades named after prominent SFF writers.) I’m starting to think I need a “fashion” category.
Dimitrie Leonida built a technology museum in Romania in 1908. It’s still in operation today, but probably has taken a different turn from what its engineer founder envisioned. Atlas Obscura showcases the museum. I’m liking this site quite a lot!
Movies and TV:
An emotional scene in Captain America; Civil War and one line in an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode have led to the possible conclusion that ABC is going to cancel Agent Carter. I’d be disappointed; I’ve enjoyed the show and Hayley Atwell is awesome as the title character. The assumption is that Director Coulson’s mini-eulogy at the beginning of the AOS episode was the network’s way of saying good-bye. UPDATE: The show has been cancelled.
Supergirl is renewed, but moving to the CW – and Canada. Season Two will be shot in Vancouver. So much for actually looking like it’s made in California. There are lots of positives to this move, though, according to the article, and most of them revolve around licensing and costs. This makes a weird kind of sense to me.
Vox.com ranks the Marvel Avengers and Avenger-themed movies by their favorites. Your personal list may vary. Mine certainly did.
Captain America; Civil War continues to do well at the box office; very well. Very,very well.
There are rumors in Hollywood that The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, that 1980s movie classic starring Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin and Jeff Goldblum among others might become a TV show, and Kevin Smith might be the showrunner. I don’t know what to say. I don’t even know what to think. Oh, I do know one thing to say; with Dr. Chuck Tingle in the running for a Hugo this year, the term “buckaroo” has a slightly different meaning these days.
Fox’s mid-season substitute for Lucifer is an alternate history procedural called Houdini and Doyle, which features, well, Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle, in the infancy of the 20th century, solving eerie crimes in London. It’s safe to say the critics aren’t liking it much. Here is a review from TVline; Variety didn’t care for it much either. Metacritic scores it at 52. I looked for a positive review to balance things out but didn’t find one, although some fan comments on Metacritic are nicer. As the TVline review suggests, if you’re looking to use up some time, the real Arthur Conan Doyle wrote some pretty good fiction you could check out.
William Gibson has unveiled a comic book! Archangel is set in an alternate 2016 where the earth is devastated by radiation, and the US government has embarked on a reality-changing mission. What could possibly go wrong? IO9 has the article and a preview of the comic.
Ta-Nehesi Coates, who won the National Book Award for Between the World and Me, will begin writing for the new Black Panther comic. In this video he talks about his interpretation of the character. It seems that any stigma of comics as “lowbrow” should be fading here.
DC has lost an artist well connected to their superhero stories when Darwin Cooke passed away earlier this week.
For those of you who love the convenience of a tablet but sometimes miss the old-fashioned pleasure of a keyboard, Think Geek is offering this.