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Feb. 7th, 2016



Dramatic Presentation: Long Form - Mark's Top Ten

Time for my apparently-becoming-annual roundup of the genre movies and miniseries I watched in 2015. The top five are the ones that will appear on my Hugo ballot. That does, admittedly, influence the order, as I tend to favor more literary and intellectual works when nominating.

10. Cinderella. It's a live-action riff on the Disney Animated version, and so doesn't offer much that's new. In a stronger year, it wouldn't make the top 10. That said, the cast is engaging, Kenneth Branagh's direction is impeccable, and the production design is gorgeous. The sequence of the coachman, footmen, horses and carriage changing back to goose, lizards, mice, and pumpkin as they careen down the road is a high point.

9. Ant-Man. easily my favorite comic book movie of the year. Fun, fun, fun.

8. Tomorrowland. The one that divided critics and viewers. I fall on the "loved it" side. Which is predictable, as I'm a big fan of director Brad Bird, and a sucker for positive, hopeful messages.

7. Mad Max: Fury Road. No question, it's wonderfully made in every aspect, and I'm glad I saw it in the theater. It's just not the kind of thing that appeals to me on an emotional level.

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had a fantastic time seeing it with friends, loved Rey in particular, and look forward to seeing the next chapter. It drops this far because of there just isn't anything particularly new here, and I favor originality.

5. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Of the three major TV mini-series drawn from genre literature, this was, to me, the best. It was mostly faithful to the book, including reproducing the overall tone of the original, and had a great cast.

4. Inside Out. One of Pixar's all-time best, which is saying one hell of a lot. Touching, hilarious, massively imaginative, and full of things I've never seen before, including the core message.

3. Ex Machina. The most intelligent original SF script of the year, brought to life by a great cast and good direction. The shots of naked women did seem a bit gratuitous at times, but not enough to throw me out of the story.

2. Predestination. The Spierig brothers have pulled off the all-too-rare trick of taking a classic SF story (Heinlein's "All You Zombies", in case you didn't know), adapting it faithfully, extending it in ways that logically follow from the text of the story, and making a compelling, suspenseful film out of it. I was a co-sponsor of the motion at the 2015 Worldcon Business Meeting to extend its eligibility to this year.

1. The Martian. What can I say? Everything worked.

Nov. 13th, 2015


Hugo: Best Short Story Recommendations

I have two short story recs.

1. "Soup" by Chikodili Emelumadu (One Throne Magazine, Spring 2015). A modern dark fable. Emelumadu was a Shirley Jackson Award nominee last year.

2. "The Worshipful Company of Milliners" by Tendai Huchu (Interzone, issue #257). Super-original.

Dec. 1st, 2015

Nana Amuah



See if you missed anything or if we missed anything this year! Go crazy.

Dec. 20th, 2015



Uncatchable: A Space Adventure

I'd like to submit Uncatchable: A Space Adventure for your consideration.

Jim is only sixteen, but he’s got a lot going on in his life already. When the news that his pilot father is reported missing in action and that a war has finally broken out between Terrans and Sar-daks disrupt the quiet hot summer of Derrick Creek, Jim decides it’s time for him to take action and to prove to the world that he, too, can follow in the glorious steps of his father.

When the adults volunteer to fight for their country and get ready to board the last few ships leaving Earth for the depth of space, Jim comes up with a plan that will allow him to enlist despite his young age. But that’s only the beginning of his space adventure, and nothing ever really goes as one hopes for.

Jim doesn’t even imagine the epic journey in store for him, and what a terrible curse a soldier’s duty can be. But he’ll learn along the way. He’ll learn that, at times, things can be different from what they look on the surface—and that a trustworthy friend can always be found, wherever you least expect it.

It’s a military space opera of about 150,000 words.

I am the author.

For the Kindle version http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015GX51OK/

Website http://www.worldofcredence.com


Sep. 15th, 2015

Nana Amuah

For your consideration: A "Best Video Game" petition


Aug. 25th, 2015

Nana Amuah

Hugo Awards Recommendation Spreadsheet

The admins over at Lady Business have been setting up a Google spreadsheet to collect Hugo-eligible recs for about 3 years now. Right now they're keeping track for the 2016 Hugos. The sheet is non-editable, but you can send in recommendations! There's already a lot of stuff listed there (great stuff, good stuff, and stuff I personally find questionable but whatever), so it's good for a look-through.


Aug. 2nd, 2015

Purple, Hatgirl, Pink


Best Short Story / Novelette / Novella

I'm making a deliberate effort this year to read more short fiction... and then actually discuss the ones I liked with people! As part of that project I'm maintaining a list on Diigo of Short Stories, Novelette, and Novellas that I have enjoyed. Any that are eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards are tagged as such - https://www.diigo.com/user/carol_c/%22Hugo%202016%20Eligible%22

Do let me know in the comments if you enjoyed any of them!

Apr. 6th, 2015

Fuck Cancer


Thinking Ahead

Knowing that works of non-fiction have been nominated for (and won) BDP in the past, and knowing that the ultimate decision will rest in the hands of the Administrator(s), are people planning to recommend Lakeside for BDP/Long or Related Work?

Mar. 12th, 2015

Hugo Sign


Conversation With Death by Terry Prachett

Assuming that it actually was written by him, how about "Conversation With Death" for Best Short Story in 2016?

Mar. 10th, 2015


Orphan Black for Best Dramatic Presentation

I'm jumping into this at the last minute this year, but I have been really impressed by the Canadian TV series Orphan Black, which is aired on BBC America (season 3 begins April 18) and available on DVD and Amazon, and would like to remind everyone that season 2 is eligible for nomination on this year's Hugo ballot. The plotting and characterization on the show has been amazing and I hope its fans will show it some Hugo love. If nothing else, lead actress Tatiana Maslany gives incredible performances as several completely different characters on the show, but its speculation on cloning is engrossing.

The entire 2nd season of Orphan Black is eligible in the Dramatic Presentation—Long Form category; however, if both the complete season and individual episodes earn nominations, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson are going to have to choose which they prefer. The Hugos don't allow double dipping of categories.

The following episodes are the ones that are most worthy of nomination in the DP--Short Form category, in this order:

                Episode 7: "Knowledge of Causes and Secret Motion of Things" (How Dr. Leekie was written out of the series has to be the biggest surprise of the whole series.)
                Episode 9: "Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done" (Allison and Donnie's relationship seriously bonds.)
                Episode 4: "Governed as it Were by Chance" (Has a great shower scene.)
                Episode 10: "By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried" (The season finale seemed more interested in setting the agenda for season 3, but many fans were jazzed by its finale.)

Please consider putting Orphan Black on your nominating ballot. I hope everyone will look it up and consider nominating it. I believe episode 7 stands the best chance.

Please keep in mind this is one of those shows that needs to be watched from the beginning to fully understand what is going on, but I'm sure a marathon would not disappoint anyone who chooses to do it.

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The Hugo Awards

February 2016




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