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I decided after the big kerfluffle over the Hugo Awards this year to do my due diligence and make sure my voice is heard during next year's nomination process. Toward that end, I've started compiling a tentative list of things I might nominate, definitely subject to change. I know that most of my LJ/DW friends are Highlander and viddng-related, so this might not meant that much to anyone else. But if you plan on attending next year's Worldcon, MidAmeriCon, or are might be getting a supporting membership for Hugo voting, feel free to consider these works and suggestions of great stuff I might want to read, watch or listen to, especially short fiction. I haven't been reading enough short stories, novellas and so forth and I'm always eager to find stuff from writers who know their shit.

Novel
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
The End of All Things by John Scalzi (I was going to nominate this, but Scalzi has asked folks to skip his works this year)
Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
Planetfall by Emma Newman
Apex by Ramez Naam
Anciliary Mercy Ann Leckie

Short Story
Hello, Hello by Seanan McGuire
Trickier with Each Translation by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer
The Empress in Her Glory by Robert Reed
Today I am Paul by Martin L. Shoemaker

Novellette
Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu
Ether by Zhang Ran, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan and Ken Liu
So Much Cooking by Naomi Krtizer
Another Word for World by Ann Leckie

Novella
Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
The New Mother by Eugene Fischer
Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Podcast
The Cornell Collective
Verity!
Tea and Jeopardy
Galactic Suburbia

Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Doctor Who, Heaven Sent
Person of Interest, If-Then-What
Daredevil, Nelson v. Murdock
Mr. Robot, eps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qt
Mr. Robot, eps1.5_br4ve-trave1er.asf

Editor, short form
Seanan Maguire (Lightspeed, June 2015)
Lynne M. Thomas
Michael Damien Thomas

Editor, long form
Malcolm Edwards
Jane Johnson
Anne Lesley Groell
Tim O’Connell
Lee Harris

Semiprozine
Uncanny
Lightspeed
Clarkesworld

Best fan writer
Mark Oshiro

Best pro artist
Julie Dillon
Richard Anderson
Stephen Youll
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This year's Hugo ceremony was a fantastic production last night. David Gerrold and Tanarive Due were fantastic hosts and the results clearly showed that the attempt by certain parties to hijack the awards was thwarted by fans who voted for quality, not ideology. I was particularly happy to see Orphan Black win best short dramatic work for the Clone Dance Party episode.

What is a bit sad is the long list of great nominated works in the short fiction categories who were squeezed out in the nominating process by block voting slates. For an idea of what the slate would have looked like without the block votes go to this post by Tobias Bucknell here.

This is based on this data released by the Hugo administrators details of the ballots cast and top nominated works.

For me this has solidified by resolve to be more than just a passive member of Worldcon and fandom in the future. I actually attended WSFS business meetings this year to help in shaping policy for future Worldcons. And I'm going to keep a tally of great stuff throughout the year and nominate in all categories for the Hugos next year.
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In a little over a week I pack my bags and head off to London for Loncon3, this year's Worldcon. Only one month left of summer and a lot of that will be eaten up with travel and there's so much that I wanted to get done.

For instance, the con report I kept putting off for the Peter Wingfield Fan Club Manchester Road Trip. Is it weird to keep having conventions for an actor who doesn't act anymore? Maybe, but it's a great chance to get together with friends and Peter still likes it, so sure, as long as it will fit into his schedule I bet we will keep doing them. Several times during the convention Peter kept making references to next time, so maybe in a couple of years when he's doing his residency we can sneak in another one.

At this con Valentine Pelka joined us and read passages from a novel he's working on. Writer Adam Whitlach is putting the final touches on a novelization of War of the World: Goliath, an animiated film in which Peter voices the lead. He and Peter read a bit of it and it sounds very good. We also had Skype calls with Mark Deklin (Peter's co-star from Riverworld, the club has sort of adopted him) and Eric Small who is the writer/producer/director of the 10,000 Days, a web series in which Peter played a pivotal role. There was so much going on, but in lieu of a real con report, I'll just leave this here.




I would like try to take pictures and write brief con reports from London, but what will probably happen is a few camera shots posted to Facebook and more detailed stuff when I get back.
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One of the biggest reasons I love Worldcon is the Hugo Award ceremony. I love reading through the nominated works. I love the suspense of voting and checking my list of choices against the winners. And I love the ceremony itself where you see seasoned veteran writers and new, young writers all get recognition.

Sadly, my last day of panels )

And then I went back to the hotel to get ready for the Hugos. I always feel like I should at least make an effort to get out of jeans for the ceremonies. For the most part, my top picks all came in at least second. At least this year there were no winners that I strongly disliked, which has happened in the past. In case you're curious, here are the Hugo winners and picture of this year's winning base design.
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Saturdays panels featured poking at the flaws in Star Wars, bemoaning the lack of respect for knowledge in general media and culture, reveling in obscure cinema, and an exploration of history and myth in fantasy and sf. Top that off with too much time in the dealers' room, a fan fund auction and the masquerade, and it was a full day.


First the panels )

I bid, but didn't buy anything at the auction to support DUFF: The Down Under Fan Fund and The TransAtlantic Fan Fund , but maybe I'll do better next year. Both are worthy causes, but I was trying to stick to a very strict budget in order to save up for next year's cons.

After dinner I got in line early for the Masquerade. I know they have big screens on either side of the stage, but I still like to sit as close as possible. In line next to me was a high school age girl from Seattle who was attending her first con ever and having the time of her life. I showed her where to find out about GeekGirlCon and Norwescon in her home city and she is itching to join the Seattle con scene.
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The second full day at LoneStarCon and took in seven panels and strongly resisted temptation at the art show. There were some prints I liked a a couple of paintings that were tempting, but since I'm saving up for London next year, I resisted.


the eclectic panels of day 2 )

This was the one day I thought I'd make time for hitting some of the bid parties, but I was so tired after SF Squeecast that I just went out to dinner and had a quiet evening reading. I know, sounds lame, but sometimes vacation means kicking back and being lazy.
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While many of my friends were busy at Dragon Con, I headed toward San Antonio instead and managed to take in four days of LoneStarCon3, the 71st World Con. This was only my 3rd Worldcon and once again there was just not enough time for everything. There were media-related panels, panels on writing, panels on all aspects of sf and fantasy, interviews with authors, filk, film festival, science, and lots of lots of real NASA content - it was Texas, after all. I really had planned on taking in some films, but never got around to it. I also meant to take in some bid parties at night, but also didn't make it. Next year, I vow to party.

On to the panels )

And that's it for day one.
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Unlike many of my fannish friends I'm not at Dragoncon, I'm at this year's Worldcon which is LoneStarCon3 in San Antonio. I've been to lots of amazing panels re: sf, fantasy, space, and some media stuff and I've been taking lots of notes, so I'll be posting con reports later.

For anyone who loves reading sf and fantasy, consider a Worldcon. It's realtively small (4,000-5,000) and a great place to meet the old pros and the new generation of must-read writers.
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Coming home on the train from a visit to Connecticut this week i found myself seated in the dining car next to a young woman reading Paul Cornell's London Falling, a book that's on my buy-and-read shortlist. We started talking about Worldcon and fandom and Doctor Who and Wiscon, which she normally attends and I've been thinking about going to. Then, yesterday morning on arriving at Chicago I bumped into Jo Walton, author of Among Others. Wish I'd known she also had a roomette in my sleeper car, I would have bought her a drink in the lounge car since she's always seemed like an amiable person. Turns out Jo is on her way to Wiscon where she's a GoH. Small world indeed.
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This is a long post with lots of text under the cut for specific panels.

Saturday
Web Publishing and the Future of Magazines )

Return of the Killer Bs )

I took in a concert while I ate lunch and enjoyed the singer and cellist Unwoman

Shibori
I’ve done a bit of dyeing in the past, both with chemical dyes and natural ones, so I was looking forward to learning some new techniques. The instructor was enthusiastic and not very organized. There were about five panels (out of more than 20) that I was interested in and since I hadn’t really done anything hands-on yet I took a gamble on this. I lost.


After the Shuttle: Our Next Spacecraft
Speculating on where space exploration is headed from an aerospace historian, an aeronautical engineer and an astrophysist/engineer.


Art Direction: What’s Involved )

Hugo awards ceremony )

Sunday
The Superior Form: How Short Fiction Remains the Cutting Edge )

History of Masquerade )

Rest of the afternoon spent at Art auction and waiting in the UPS line to ship home a painting, Doorway in the Sand by Jeff Fennel . It was only $100, which is kind of a steal, but, hey, it was the end of the auction and no one was bidding against me. He’s one of the artists whose works really caught my eye at the Art Show and I’m very, very happy to have it.

Closing ceremonies wound things up and I’m contemplating doing this all over again next year at Chicon 7 in Chicago
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Friday was a long day, but there were panels I was interested in from the beginning of the day, so no sleeping in for me.

SF We Love by Writers of Color )

The Promise and Peril of Rebooting a Beloved Franchise )

Iron Chef Flash Fiction )

Who is This Robert E. Lee Person? How Much Background Information in Really Needed in Historical Fiction )

Scientific Romances of the Victorian Era )

I did manage to make time for a quick dinner before the Masquerade. I considered going to the fan photo area, but changed my mind and skipped taking pictures. It was my first masquerade ever and I wanted to enjoy it. And I did like it. So much, in fact, that it makes me think about costuming, something I haven’t done since my SCA days.
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On Thursday I discovered a great breakfast restaurant at the Peppermill and over the next few days I had a heavenly frittata, a rich and flavorful short rib hash and an unbelievably good huevos rancheros on a bed of black beans and masa corn cake. Well fortified, I walked to the convention center and browsed the dealer’s room until the 11:00 panel.
1960s 60 years on )

Photographing a Masquerade

There are two places to take pictures. Fan photography area for good posed shots & flash allowed. In the hall there is no flash allowed, so the quality might not be so great. There’s often no room for a tripod in the fan photo area so a monopod can be great, also useful for taking pictures seated in the audience.

If you don’t want to take pictures in the fan photo area, hall costumes can offer a great chance to take good shots. Ask first & thank afterwards

At this point I had to get some lunch and spent some time talking to people hanging out in Hall 2.

Miles Above: A Short Film About the Columbia )

Devo Spice concert
After the last panel, I decided to take in something a bit more upbeat, so I sat in on a short performance by sf, nerdy hip hop artist Devo Spice.


Chesley Awards and Art Show )
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I don’t why I never considered going to Worldcon in the past. I’d read about it, but somehow thought the con, and getting to vote on the Hugo Awards was something for other people. But this year Renovation in Reno hosted the con and since I hadn’t planned on any other con this year I decided to go.

I arrived on Tuesday and once I settled into the hotel I walked down to the convention center for early registration. My friend [livejournal.com profile] ruamor lives in Reno, so I met up with her and her roommate, Patty, for dinner.

The con was running a shuttle from my hotel to the convention center, but I was too excited on Wednesday morning to wait for it so I walked. Taking my iPad was a great idea, it let me take notes during the panels. The choices were overwhelming, often a couple of dozen or more things to do in any given hour.

One of the first things I did was get my picture taken in the replica of the Game of Thrones throne, a popular choice all weekend long. The panels didn’t get underway until noon on the first day.

Green Chemistry )

Molecular Gastronomy: When You Have More Kitchen Gadgets Than Your Mom
Not really all that interesting, just sitting around talking about cooking technologies in an anecdotal way. No actual molecular gastronomy talked about.

Opening Ceremonies
Not too much to say about this, except that it did help me determine that I didn't especially want to go to the Tricky Pixie concert later on.

Social Media: Online Technologies and the Way We Will Live )

Before the Boom: Classic SF, Fantasy & Horror )

That’s it for day one. Dinner with friends and then I went back to my room to decompress.

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