Stuff ( & Possibly Nonsense) #125
And once again it’s that time of the week for a quick round up of news and links that Richard and Joe spotted over the last few days:
The annual Worldcon, science fiction’s biggest bash, took place over last weekend, and as usual included the prestigious Hugo Awards, first awarded in 1953, which I’m relieved to see modifications to the process of nominating and voting in recent years have helped head off the attempt by certain groups to make SF&F an uncomfortable zone for anyone who wasn’t white and male and on the right-wing side of things (which marred a couple of previous Hugos but did spark much good reaction and change too). The winners were:
Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing)
Best Novelette: “The Tomato Thief”, by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
Best Short Story: “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
Best Related Work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”, written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
Best Editor – Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Best Editor – Long Form: Liz Gorinsky
Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Best Fanzine: Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
Best Fancast: Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman
Best Fan Writer: Abigail Nussbaum
Best Fan Artist: Elizabeth Leggett
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)
Congratulations to all who won, and commiserations to our own James Bacon and friends who missed out on adding another Hugo to their shelves. The next Worldcon takes place in Helsinki from 9th to 13th August 2018.
Rosie Haghighi has posted up her strip, The Sun and the Waves, which she contributed to the woman’s romance anthology comic Lilies Volume 3, and rather lovely it is too. Here’s a wee taste, check out the full comic over on her site here.
Tom at Comics Reporter points us to the newly-relaunched Cartoonists of Colour Database, which looks pretty amazing now and as well as listing information on numerous creators I see it also boasts a pretty good search system if you need to narrow the parameters of who you are looking for and what kind of comic. Anything that helps highlight the vibrant and diverse work that comes from, well, having vibrant and diverse comic creators from all places is something to be welcomed.
Comics Alternative hosts a long round-table discussion on contemporary issues in comics for children and young adults:
Now this is just superb – we may be left in limbo as far as a film or (my preferred option) a television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s now-iconic Sandman comics, but meantime here’s a fan-made film by Evan Henderson and Nicholas Brown in Toronto. It adapts a very early episode from the Sandman’s years-long run, 24 Hours, in which the Dream Lord is seeking artefacts stolen from him during his incarceration, including his dreamstone, which is now in the hands of a deranged man who uses it on the customers in a 24-hour diner for his amusement. Some fan films in recent years have been just outstandingly good, and this is no exception, in fact Gaiman himself has praised the film-makers for their adaptation. Very well done, guys, very well done! (via IO9)
Lew Stringer ponders the current state of the UK children’s comic market:
“Of course, the reasons for the decline are many and varied. It’s never as simple as some people think it is. Content is one reason of course (a branded comic will only appeal to fans of that brand for example), then there’s price, distribution, and the complex ways of suppliers deciding which shops get what, regardless of what a retailer might prefer.
In my opinion, one major drawback for publishers today is the unkempt way in which their mags are stuffed into shelves. Not always by customers having a browse, but by the actual retail staff. Take a look at the photos here that I took a few months ago. For the most part, the displays are unattractive and very few titles stand out. ”
In the seemingly endless announcements of comics and prose works being adapted by the new media broadcasters like Netflix etc, Amazon revealed it is adapting the wickedly brilliant Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and the late and much-missed Terry Pratchett, and even better, Michael Sheen and David Tennant have been confirmed for the cast. (via Live For Film)
(art by Sean Phillips, from the BBC’s radio adaptation)
After a long period of speculation by the media – with, as usual, many outlets claiming to have the inside scoop – the next James Bond actor has been confirmed as, well, the current Bond, Daniel Craig. I’m quite happy with this on one level as I think Craig’s era as Bond has been terrific (Quantom of Solace not withstanding), and to be honest I kind of expected this – the rumour mill had been running so long that I thought if a new actor was being announced it would have happened already along with some details of the next film and when it was coming.
Craig does indeed seem to have had some reservations about returning, saying perhaps he just needed a break, but he seems content to return for one more outing as the world’s most famous superspy, although he stresses this will be his final film as Bond: “I think this is it. I just want to go out on a high note and I can’t wait.” No doubt rampant media speculation on who will follow Craig will resume in due course… (via the Guardian)
The always excellent Chris Riddell in the Guardian on the “fire and fury” speech by Trump on rogue state North Korea: