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Feb. 11th, 2016



Hey, so I just realized that categories behind 5 ballots will get ignored. Which is a HUGE bummer, because 1940 had some great comics, and I'd like to see them honored. So, to my fellow voters, I put these forward for your consideration: my Best Graphic Story ballot for the 1941 Hugos:

Captain America Comics #1

Written by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Illustrated by Jack Kirby
Timely Publications (Timely Comics?)

It's the one with Cap punching Hitler on the cover. It says March 1941 but the comic came out in December of 1940. One of the finest of the Golden Age, and quite possibly one of the most important. It publicly denounced the Nazis BEFORE the US entered WWII, and while there was still some strong pro-Nazi sentiment in the states. Simon and Kirby's creation, for all its Golden Age goofiness, still stands out as a work of bravery.

The Spectre!/The Spectre Strikes! (More Fun Comics #52/#53)
Written by Jerry Siegel
Illustrated by Bernard Baily
National Allied Publications

A shockingly mature story for the 40'a that holds up pretty damn well. Joe Corrigan being denied heaven after his death and being forced to eradicate all evil is an excellent backstory, and makes all his actions understandable.

Batman #1
Written by Bill Finger
Illustrated by Bob Kane, Sheldon Moldoff, and Jerry Robinson
National Allied Publications

There's a reason historians call this the best single issue of the Golden Age...well, two reasons, actually: the Prince Clown of Darkness and the Princess of Plunder. Not only was this Batman's first solo comic, it also had the first appearances of The Joker and Catwoman, in stories that perfectly demonstrate why they've had lasting appeal. There's also a pretty good Hugo Strange story here.

Introducing Captain Marvel! (Whiz Comics #2)
Written by Bill Parker
Illustrated by C.C. Beck
Fawcett Comics

The first appearance of Billy Batson and his older Captain Marvel alter-ego. It's an engaging, simple story executed really well, with underpinnings of mysticism that only reveal themselves upon re-reading. It just works.

The Origin of the Spirit
Written by Will Eisner
Illustrated by Will Eisner and Joe Kubert

Why would I forget Eisner? This is probably the one that's aged the best, with the art looking strikingly modern, even well into the 21st century. While not at the height of its post-war years, The Spirit still came swinging from day one, with its chronicling of Denny Colt's rebirth as the titular character that gradually became a superhero. Extremely influential to the medium. (Also, Ebony White's only in it for one panel. So there's that.)

And those are what I've deemed, after extensive reading and research, to be the Best Graphic Stories of 1940. No old comics have ever been nominated, and it'd be a massive shame for them to not get honored at this coming Retro Hugos. So I'm appealing to every voter here. All it needs is 5 ballots or more.

Feb. 10th, 2016



Graphic Story: "The Sculptor", by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud is one of the best known names in comics. He's the writer and artist of "Zot!", an outstanding sf adventure published in the 1980s. He's also the author/illustrator of "Understanding Comics" and its two sequels, probably the best scholarly works ever written of the art form.

In 2015, he published a standalone graphic novel called "The Sculptor", a fantasy about a young, frustrated sculptor who's given the ability to shape materials with just his hands and imagination. It's a masterwork by a mature talent, filled with fascinating characters, beautiful visuals, and pacing that makes it almost impossible to put down. It's more than worthy of consideration.

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?

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The Hugo Awards

February 2016




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