Critical Mass July 27th: The Dragon Waiting

Beata Sznajder is going to talk about John M Ford’s World Fantasy Award novel, The Dragon Waiting.
Roman will discuss his last novel (published post-humously), Aspects.

We might also discuss some of his other works:

In person: 6:15 for a 6:30 start at Kappys in Compton St
Zoom details:
Jul 27, 2022 6:30pm Adelaide /7pm Melbourne
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89275675259?pwd=UG4rT0RaNFpOOEwyWlJOU0xOcHJ1UT09

Meeting ID: 892 7567 5259
Passcode: CritMass

August Critical Mass: The Hugo Short Story Awards

The Finalists for the 2022 Hugo Awards have been announced.

The results of the 2022 Hugo, Lodestar, and Astounding Awards will be announced at the Hugo Awards Ceremony at Chicon 8, on the evening of Sunday, September 4, 2022 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, Chicago.

Best Novel
1151 ballots for 443 nominees; finalist range 111-242

  • A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager / Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Light From Uncommon Stars, by Ryka Aoki (Tor / St Martin’s Press)
  • A Master of Djinn, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom / Orbit UK)
  • Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir (Ballantine / Del Rey)
  • She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Parker-Chan (Tor / Mantle)

Best Novella
807 ballots for 138 nominees; finalist range 90-235

  • Across the Green Grass Fields, by Seanan McGuire (Tordotcom)
  • Elder Race, by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tordotcom)
  • Fireheart Tiger, by Aliette de Bodard (Tordotcom)
  • The Past Is Red, by Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom)
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers (Tordotcom)
  • A Spindle Splintered, by Alix E. Harrow (Tordotcom)

Full list for all categories at the Hugo awards page

Critical Mass will discuss the Finalists for the short story at the August 24th meeting.
Links to the 2022 Hugo Award Finalists for best novelette and best short story are provided below.

Best Novelette

Bots of the Lost Ark” by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, Jun 2021)
Colors of the Immortal Palette” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Uncanny Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021)
L’Esprit de L’Escalier by Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom)
O2 Arena” by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki (Galaxy’s Edge, Nov 2021)
That Story Isn’t the Story” by John Wiswell (Uncanny Magazine, Nov/Dec 2021)
Unseelie Brothers, Ltd.” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, May/Jun 2021)

Best Short Story
Mr. Death” by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, Feb 2021)|
Proof by Induction” by José Pablo Iriarte (Uncanny Magazine, May/Jun 2021)
The Sin of America” by Catherynne M. Valente (Uncanny Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021)
Tangles” by Seanan McGuire (Magicthegathering.com: Magic Story, Sep 2021)
Unknown Number” by Blue Neustifter (Twitter, Jul 2021) (More links since that’s a twitter thread.)
Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather” by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny Magazine, Mar/Apr 2021)

Nova Mob, July 6: She Who Became the Sun

Murray notes:

Shelley Parker-Chan – She Who Became the Sun
Hugo Awards shortlisted writer at Nova Mob meeting 6 July 2022

Hugos are announced at Chicon WorldCon 1-5 Sep 2022. Here’s hoping! The shortlist is strong:

  • She Who Became the Sun, by Shelley Parker-Chan (Tor / Mantle)
  • A Desolation Called Peace, by Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within, by Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager / Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Light From Uncommon Stars, by Ryka Aoki (Tor / St Martin’s Press)
  • A Master of Djinn, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom / Orbit UK)
  • Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir (Ballantine / Del Rey)

What follows is taken from the novel’s Wikipedia entry which also has many links to interviews, reviews, and so on. Please go there to discover more.

Please also go to the Locus Spotlight: https://locusmag.com/2021/07/spotlight-on-shelley-parker-chan/

“She Who Became the Sun is a 2021 fantasy novel by Shelley Parker-Chan. Parker-Chan’s debut novel, the novels tells a re-imagining of the rise to power of the Hongwu Emperor in the 14th century. “

“The book is a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction and the 2022 Hugo Award for Best Novel.”

“Zhu Chongba, the son of a family in an impoverished village, is foretold in a prophecy to achieve greatness. However, after a bandit attack leaves the village devastated and most of the family dead, he dies of heartbreak. His sister then assumes his identity to go study at a Buddhist monastery, and begins plotting her own survival and her own path to greatness.

“ The novel has been noted to touch on themes of gender, sexuality, and diasporic identity. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Parker-Chan described the novel as “a queer reimagining of the rise to power of the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. It’s also a fun story about gender,” adding that mainstream white Australian culture had “a particular type of Australian masculinity that is held as the ideal. This excludes every other kind of masculinity, especially queer masculinity and Asian masculinity.”

https://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2022-hugo-awards/

Zoom details:

July 6th: 8.00pm – 9.30 pm Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney time
7.30pm – 9.00pm Adelaide time
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4177583193?pwd=VjdPL1BhSTBNclN2YnRsejN3Y1hlUT09

Passcode: nova

Meeting ID: 417 758 3193

Locus Awards online June 23-26th

The Locus Awards run on Zoom over four days, the first three of which have book readings from 8.30 to 11.30am Adelaide time*; the fourth day runs from 2:30am Sunday to the actual ceremony at 7:30am.
There’s a $15 membership for those who can’t afford the $45 full price. The reduced membership doesn’t include the t-shirt and programme, but does include access to all online events and a subscription to the digital magazine for 6 months.
More details: https://locusmag.com/2022-locus-awards-weekend/
List of finalists: https://locusmag.com/2022/05/2022-locus-awards-top-ten-finalists/

  • we are 16.5 hours ahead of them

Storybundle: Humourous Fantasy

Some reviews of the books in the bundle:
The Dragon Business by Kevin J. Anderson

“Love this story. Bulldozed through it the first time so taking it slowly second time around to appreciate it more.”– Persis Gretna

Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye

“A great sense of humor.”– Piers Anthony

Mis Spelled by TH Leatherman

This was an extremely enjoyable book. The hero and the supporting cast were all likable, and I especially appreciated that the hero was able to succeed without violence most of the time. The humor and the world-building were both first rate, and the story ended in a satisfying manner while still leaving room for a sequel.”– Amazon Review

Kradak the Champion by Shawn Inmon

“Well, here I go again down one of Shawn Inmon’s rabbit holes. No one digs them better. Steve, Rista, and Grint are something else. This quest is just the right mix of adventure, drama, darkness, and humor.”– Michelle Gwynn, author

The Thing from HR by Roy M. Griffis

“I laughed far too much as this crossover of office politics and eldritch horrors.”– Reader review

The Night Sheriff by Phil Foglio

“The Night Sheriff is Phil’s first solo-authored prose work, and he brings every bit of genius to it that he normally devotes to the comic-book and graphic novel medium. Know that with The Night Sheriff you’re in for an adventure at the hands of a master storyteller.”– Marion G Harmon, Bestselling author of the Wear The Cape Series

Fools’ Day by Patrick Thomas

“Slick… Entertaining.”– Paul Di Filippo, Asimov’s

His Angelic Keeper by Melinda Kucsera

“…it didn’t take long for things to get interesting and exciting. This book leaves you with wanting to read more. I love these books, they have the fantasy, action, adventure and world building that I enjoy, but they also are “nice” in a way where they are[n’t] as dark or steamy as some books are. I do recommend these, they are a nice change.”– Roberta, Amazon

Magic and Misrule by KM Merritt

“The setting was just immersive enough to complement the fun and brisk plot such that I happily started and finished this story in one sitting! I genuinely laughed out loud multiple times. Lastly, I can’t stress enough how skillfully the author represented some very underrepresented people/characters while completely succeeding in making that representation a nonissue to the plot. I can’t wait to read the next installment of this saga!”– Goodreads Review

Og-Grim-Dog by Jamie Edmundson

“a marathon of craziness that will tickle your sense of humor. Loved all the gritty characters and enjoyed the fast-paced action plot.”– Reader review

Hatched – Dragon Farmer Book One by Caren Hahn

•”The writing is eloquent. The story feels new and different from others I’ve read. Dragon farmers! Genius!”– Reader review

The Simple Delivery by Andrew Claydon

The story has wit and style, is full of great characters, heroes and villians, conspiracies and alliances and a great ending. Loved it and look forward to more of these.– Amazon Review

Quest by A.J. Ponder

“The writing is magnificent. This book is made for reading aloud, it fair rollicks along, a huge vocabulary with marvellous character drawings, funny dialogue and conversations. The best parts though, to encourage fully engaged adult interaction with child, are the footnotes the author has made which are really for adult eyes only. Funny, wicked and sometimes a bit naughty. There is no happy living after in this story either! No handsome prince, no evil witch. So the traditional fairy tale is turned on its head, and I hope to see more of Syvalla’s adventures, because she is well set up to take on more baddies.”– Felicity Murray, The Read

More details: https://storybundle.com/blog/humorousfantasybundle/

Critical mass May 25th: Metropolis

This month, we’ve got a special screening of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece, Metropolis.

This is the newly restored edition, including the 25 minutes of “new” footage found in 2008 at the Buenos Ares’ Museo del Cine. If you haven’t seen this version, you’re in for a treat. The film runs for just under 150 mins, so this will be a longer than usual Crit Mass meeting. Feel free to bring a friend!

If you want to join us via zoom, it’ll have to be for the post-film discussion at 8:30 Adelaide time.
(We don’t have the rights to zoom the film, alas.)
We are starting half an hour early this month, at 6pm Adelaide time.

Critical Mass at Kappys, 5:45 for a 6:00pm start on Wednesday, May 25th.


May 25th, 2022 8:30pm Adelaide / 9pm Melbourne
Join Zoom Meeting post screening
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89275675259?pwd=UG4rT0RaNFpOOEwyWlJOU0xOcHJ1UT09

Meeting ID: 892 7567 5259
Passcode: CritMass

The language of Chinese dreams is SF

On the restless night of June 3, 1989, a young engineer visiting Beijing for a trade conference had a nightmare. He dreamt of a battalion of children fighting in a whiteout blizzard under the penetrating light of a supernova—that is, the sun was about to go out. The next morning, tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square to clear the thousands of protesters who had occupied it for months demanding more openness and democracy in China. The nightmare in the dreams of June 3rd and the nightmare in the reality of June 4th inspired Liu Cixin to write his first novel, The Supernova Era, though it would not be published for more than 10 years. Liu Cixin is easily the most prominent science fiction author in China today, and his Three Body Problem trilogy made waves when its first volume won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015. But his writing career, and by association the flourishing of Chinese science fiction in the wake of Three Body’s success, began with a dream.

The Language of Chinese Dreams Is Science Fiction — And Sometimes They’re Nightmares, tor.com

A host of sci-fi short stories

The 200 Sci-Fi Worlds Bundle – Curated by J. Scott Coatsworth:

We’ve included fifteen sci-fi anthologies and collections showcasing 139 authors and more than 200 individual stories, but it’s available for a limited time only! This StoryBundle features a wide variety of themes – fighting climate change, exploring the far reaches of the galaxy, future crime, hopepunk, sci-fi zombies, space marines, exosapiens, LGBTQ+ heroes, and so much more. With 139 authors, chances are that you’ll find some new writers to love.

You can read more about them at Storybundle, and make sure to click on each cover for a synopsis, reviews and preview of each book! Offer available until 26th May.

Nova Mob, May 4th: Sir Gawain & the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the Nova Mob’s topic this Wednesday
8.00pm Melbourne – 7:30 Adelaide time

Terry Frost will discuss the 2021 film The Green Knight

Lucy Sussex will discuss Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as part of the Matter of Britain. It’s a combined face to face and Zoom meeting, with the speakers both speaking from the round table at the Kensington Town Hall.

💥 💥 💥

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Nova Mob meeting 4 May 2022 

Terry Frost on The Green Knight (2021 film)

Lucy Sussex on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Arthurian legend)

Combined Zoom and face-to-face meeting. 

Lucy and Terry will be speaking on location from the Kensington Town Hall.

Terry Frost won the 2021 William Atheling, Jr. Award for Criticism or Review, for his reviews in Terry Talks Movies.  His YouTube channel of film reviews has more than 1.2 million hits and has a patreon option.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG3hwNZQ6FyrJVyE50fUqRQ

Lucy Sussex is an Honorary Fellow at Federation and La Trobe Universities and has taught at Clarion West,  been shortlisted (as editor) for the World Fantasy Award, is currently on the Hugo ballot within the context of McIntyre & Nette’s Dangerous Visions… and has won various sf awards including the Ian Gunn Memorial Award for services to sf fandom.

Lucy and Terry are Nova Mob members.

Thanks to Lucy for organising this topic and speakers.

The Day the Earth Caught Fire

The Day the Earth Caught Fire– This cerebral mix of conspiracy a-go-go and sci-fi (from 1961) was written and directed by Val Guest. Simultaneous nuclear testing by the U.S. and Soviets triggers an alarmingly rapid shift in the Earth’s climate. As London’s weather turns more tropical by the hour, a Daily Express reporter (Peter Stenning) begins to suspect that the British government is not being 100% forthcoming on the possible fate of the world. Along the way, Stenning has some steamy scenes with his love interest (sexy Janet Munro). The film is more noteworthy for its smart, snappy patter than its run-of-the-mill special effects, but delivers a compelling narrative. Co-starring veteran scene-stealer Leo McKern.

“Any world (that I’m welcome to): 10 Sci-fi favorites” by Dennis Hartley