This is the first year that I’ve actually managed to read all of the nominees in the Hugo novel category, at least a portion of each. Charles Stross’s Neptune’s Brood is the last of the batch, and I only got my hands on it mid-July when I borrowed it from a friend–the publishers decided not to put it in the Hugo packet, and neither Stross nor Penguin were interested in providing a review copy so I had been intending to just skip the book until the opportunity to borrow it came up. I haven’t finished reading the whole book yet. I’m at about page 150 of 340. But the Hugo deadline is tomorrow and this is the last posting slot I have before the deadline, so if I want to share my review before the deadline it’s got to be a partial. You can consider this part 1 of the review; I’ll write up the rest when I’ve finished the book.
The voting deadline for the Hugo Awards is tomorrow, July 31st, and I’ve read as much of the Hugo content as I’m going to have time for. So, the time has come for me to cast my ballot and put awards aside until next year. As I’ve done the last couple years, I’ve publicly shared what my ballot is going to look like, as kind of a final section of my Hugo review that is kind of an overarching look at what I thought of the categories. I didn’t read work in all the categories, so I’ve abstained from voting in those that I had no familiarity with and left them off the ballot.
written by Laurie Tom
July means the start of the summer anime season, so I’m taking a look at most of the new shows that have caught my interest. Typically I watch 2-3 series as they air so I don’t intend to finish all of these, and I’m still watching last season’s m3: the dark metal, leaving less room for newcomers.
written by Carl Slaughter
I have counted seventy Hollywood actors, most of them A-Listers, who have switched from films to television. The studios are reducing the number of movies. Meanwhile, 48 television networks are offering scripted episodic dramas series. The only people outside the industry who can keep track of the number of shows are journalists on the TV beat.
Television is where the storytelling is and television is where the job security is. It’s only a matter of time before the likes of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts join the party.
written by Laurie Tom
One Week Friends started off as my one must-watch show of the spring season, despite having only the barest of speculative elements (in that Kaori’s malady is not a real world condition). Though the rest of the series never again hits the high of the first episode, it remains an enjoyable watch throughout.
Warbound is the third book in Larry Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles, preceded by Hard Magic and Spellbound. It takes place in a fantasy alternate-history 1930s. The branch in history took place in the 1850s when a magical force called The Power chose some subset of humanity to draw on its magical resources and become superpowered to give them the power to fight against the monstrous Pathfinder that eats magic and twists that magic to its own devices. And the Pathfinder itself is only an advance scout of its even more powerful master.
The idea that there’s some kind of secret handshake involved in getting published. The idea that you have to trick an editor into buying your story. The idea that if you write in imitation of some successful writer’s work, his or her fans will flock to you. The idea that there’s a new movement or school you can hop aboard like a train that will take you straight to the top.
Another Hugo category, this one for Hugo Dramatic Long Form, which usually means feature films. Three of them are repeats from the Ray Bradbury award that I’ve already reviewed this year, so those three are pretty much the same review text. I look forward to these every year because I don’t have time for a lot of movies, but I can use this as a quick-start guide for the year’s notable movies. Since movies are such a popular form, the category gets a ton of votes, so is an even better representation of SF fan tastes than most.
In the near future, The American medical corporation Symbogen releases a product that dramatically changes the medical industry–the Intestinal Bodyguard, a a genetically engineered tapeworm that manages most of your medical needs, including suppressing allergic reactions, and producing insulin for diabetics. Within a few years, the tapeworm implants are so ubiquitous, you would be hard pressed to find an American who doesn’t have one, and cheaper models have even become popular in third world countries where they help keep people healthy who have never known good health. They are the universal cure-all elixir. There can be no doubt that they have all the marvelous effects that are claimed–these are well documented. What may not be so well documented are the side effects that may come with that little traveling companion in your gut.