What’s that you say? Wrong competition? Oh, sorry.
Well, anyway, as I said earlier, we had a Hugo theme in today’s mafia. I was positively surprised about how many had read the short stories, and so we had a good discussion of the merits (or lack of) of the nominees. Unfortunately, as it quite often tends to go with these things, people voted the wrong nominees. And so, tied for the first place with Robert J. Sawyer’s Shed Skin (the only piece of decent sf in the bunch, even though the ending was a bit of a letdown) was the totally non-special A Princess of Earth, by Mike Resnick. Next month we’ll tackle the novelettes. Correction: the two stories got an equal amount of points, but based on the number of first places in the votes, Princess was the winner. Shed Skin came in second.
What keeps surprising me every year (even though I don’t think it shouldn’t anymore) is how bland the Hugo nominees tend to be. Innovative and daring stuff—the stuff good sf should be made of—just doesn’t seem to make the cut. As many people seem to value familiarity with things they loved a long time ago over new stuff with ideas, I’d be willing to make a small bet for the Princess in the actual Hugos also.
Other stuff of interest today: quite a bit about Star Wars, Episode III (no surprise there). Which brings to mind something completely different. If I could draw, this would be a cartoon, but since I can’t I’m siccing it on you here.
The setting: an sf convention. A guy in a Darth Vader suit, getting totally sick of being pestered by a teenage nerd, grabs him by the collar and smacks him.But I digress. There was quite a lot of talk about sf books this evening. Also, the sfnality of Doctor Snuggles was discussed. It was even suggested that Douglas Adams had written some of his adventures. And what do you know, he did.
The caption: “The Sith hits the fan”
After a brief discussion about politics had driven home all but the most enduring (foolhardy?), there was some talk about religious views of fen, and also about possible methods of getting new people to join the fandom. Not as totally unrelated subjects as you might think, but I guess you had to be there. Don’t worry, though, we’re not thinking of starting any new religions. (Or taking over any old ones. Even really old ones.) Or getting into politics either, for that matter.