Gods, Monsters, Tea masters and Detectives… August Crit Mass

This is the last of three meetings looking at the Hugo nominated novellas.

Here are the suggested readings for August, July 7th :
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press /
JABberwocky Literary Agency)
Bonus: *Time Was by Ian McDonald

TorNovellas5

Note that the bonus novellas (*) are three of five featured in Tor Editorial Spotlight #5, edited by Australia’s own Jonathan Strahan. The collection also includesThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson and Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan. 705pp for 5 novellas, around $15 as an ebook. More details at tor.com publishing

The “bonus” novella is just if you want to read some more, recent novellas.

Note: if you are a member of the Dublin worldcon, the hugo voter’s packet contains the full text of most of the nominees (see file770 ).
[ Supporting membership is 40 euros, which is approximately $AUS 65. Pretty good value for the packet contents.]

As usual, meeting at Kappys,  6:45 for a 7pm start.

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Ann Leckie on Gender

‘‘At first, I was just playing with the universe for fun. I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a society that genuinely didn’t care about gender?’ During Clarion West, I wrote a story set in that universe, and I used ‘he’ for everybody. I was totally unhappy with that. Why is male the default? Let’s make female the default! Of course, there are problems with that – serious problems. Using ‘she’ for everybody doesn’t genuinely give the impression of a society where gender doesn’t matter. (But it worked.)
‘‘The way you can’t deal with somebody without putting them into that gender pigeonhole is so strong! When you take a baby to the supermarket, everybody wants to lean over and coo at your baby, because babies are adorable. But sometimes, people lean over to coo at the baby and they stop, because they don’t know how to coo if they don’t know what gender the baby is. That blew my mind, when I had babies. They’d assume that my daughter was a boy, or my son was a girl, and I wouldn’t say anything, but at some point the truth would come out, and they’d go ‘Oh, I’m so sorry!’, like they ran over my dog or something. The baby doesn’t care, and how can you tell? There’s no reason to gender a baby.

from the August 2014 interview in Locus magazine

 

Ditmars 2019

The winners of the Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Awards for 2019 were presented at the 2019 Australian National SF Convention, (Continuum 15) in Melbourne on June 8.

Best Novel:City of Lies (Poison Wars 1), Sam Hawke, Tom Doherty Associates.

Best Novella or Novelette:
“Cabaret of Monsters”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Cabaret of Monsters, The Creature Court.

Best Short Story:
“The Heart of Owl Abbas”, Kathleen Jennings, in Tor.com

Best Collected Work:
Mother of Invention, Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts, Twelfth Planet Press.

Best Artwork:
Cover art, Likhain, for Mother of Invention, Twelfth Planet Press.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium:
Earl Grey Editing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

Best Fan Writer:
Liz Barr, for writing in squiddishly.

Best New Talent:
Sam Hawke

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review:
Cat Sparks, for “The 21st Century Catastrophe: Hyper-capitalism and Severe Climate Change in Science Fiction” PhD exegesis.

The Rocket Man vs Rocketman

from File770:
ALL BRADBURY ALL THE TIME. Camestros Felapton points out the connections between Bradbury’s fiction and the Elton John biopic: “The Rocket Man versus Rocketman”.

Both the song and story feature a man who pilots an interplanetary rocket as a routine job that takes him away from his family for large stretches of time. However, the song places the perspective with the pilot (the titular rocket man) but the story focuses on the feelings and experiences of the pilot’s son.

Bradbury is such a powerful writer. Even though the sci-fi trappings of the story are of the gee-whiz 1950s style shiny technology, the story itself is focused on emotional connections and that signature Bradbury sense of the past and memory.

Crit Mass: July 3rd

We thought we’d look at the Hugo nominees for Best Novella over the next few meetings.

Here are the suggested readings:

July 3rd
Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
Bonus: *Proof of Concept of Gwyneth Jones
Note: the Binti novella is the third of the series; you might wish to read the first two to get the full story.

August
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Press /
JABberwocky Literary Agency)
Bonus: *Time Was by Ian McDonald

TorNovellas5

Note that the bonus novellas (*) are three of five featured in Tor Editorial Spotlight #5, edited by Australia’s own Jonathan Strahan. The collection also includesThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson and Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan. 705pp for 5 novellas, around $15 as an ebook. More details at tor.com publishing

The “bonus” novella is just if you want to read some more, recent novellas.

Note: if you are a member of the Dublin worldcon, the hugo voter’s packet contains the full text of most of the nominees (see file770 ).
[ Supporting membership is 40 euros, which is approximately $AUS 65. Pretty good value for the packet contents.]

As usual, meeting at Kappys,  6:45 for a 7pm start.

Moon Landing…

“The Bay Area includes some people who are really interested in the moon, and they helped me with [Red Moon]. In the first scene there’s a landing on the moon where their shuttle touches down while going something like 8,000 miles an hour – this is like a launch rail take-off, but in reverse. That was their idea. I never would have thought of that, because you have to hit the rail with just a couple centimeters tolerance for error. They told me that in a vacuum that wouldn’t be hard, and I thought, ‘Whoa. That would be one scary landing.’ It made for a fun way to start.”
— from Kim Stanley Robinson: The Good Anthropocene, an interview in Locus

 

The Science Fiction Fanzine Reader: Focal Points 1930-1960

ortizsffr_200x300Luis Ortiz is editor and publisher at NonStop Press […] with his new book he has surpassed himself. This immensely valuable and entertaining volume — purportedly the first of several — captures for posterity a chronologically delimited slice of the subculture of science-fiction fandom — currently dying or healthy; vanished or extant? — in such a manner that even those folks who have no prior inkling of the subculture — assuming they possess a modicum of curiosity and intelligence — should still be able to completely grok the subject matter and derive amusement and pleasure and wisdom from this richly annotated compilation. Although there have been earlier books which charted some fannish currents and waves — Moskowitz’s The Immortal Storm; Harry Warner’s A Wealth of Fable; Ted Cogswell’s Pitfcs: The Proceedings of the Institute for Twenty-First Century Studies — books which Ortiz acknowledges and cites, there has never, to my knowledge, been a survey like this one which vividly illustrates the topic with actual writing samples, derived from Ortiz’s incisive survey of over four thousand fanzines.
— Paul Di Fillipo review, Locus

FANAC scans at Corflu

We took the FANAC scanning station to Corflu FIAWOL last weekend, and scanned 3500-4000 pages (the count is not complete yet). We received material to scan and help from many Corfluvians, and are getting the scans up  on line. So far, we have a little over 1,800 of those pages online. They’re marked in the index pages as “scanned at Corflu 2019”. Fanzines scanned at Corflu include Terry Carr’s Innuendo, John D. Berry’s Hot Shit, Charles Lee Riddle’s Peon, Ron Bennett’s Ploy, some of Forry Ackerman and Morojo’s Voice of the Imagi-Nation, and lots more. At Corflu, we also received scans from Rob Hansen’s OCR project. There are some gems there too. Watch the “What’s New” on the Fanac.org page to get details on what’s been put online.

— from Pixel Scroll May 13th, file770, “(4) FIELD REPORT. Joe Siclari’s FANAC Flash summarises their accomplishments at Corflu 2019.”