Resurrection for 2018?

So 2 years ago, I set up this site to collect recommendations for Hugo nominees. It generated some good interest and many insightful recommendations. (Thank you all again for that!) Unfortunately, last year at this time I was buried in comprehensive exams for my PhD and wasn’t able to run another recommendation collection.

However, is there interest in something like this for the 2018 Hugos?

I would be willing to collect and post recommendations centered around themed weeks (so that even the less popular categories get some love and attention), and have a better idea how to run things smoother than I did the first time.

It would rely on all of you to write recommendations. Unless you are willing to submit for at least some categories, then it would be rather quiet and pointless. So, is there anyone out there?

Discussion will resume next week

My apologies for the silence. There was an unexpected death in my family. But life is settling back into some sense of normalcy, so next week I do want to get this rolling again in what time we have left. Obviously there will be some compression and I am certainly behind in my reading. But any of you who want to chime in and discuss these works, I wanted to give you warning that we will get things moving again in a few days, but it will be moving quite quickly.

Thank you.

Best Short Dramatic Presentations Next Week

Next week we will be discussing both Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) categories.

If you are looking for some stuff to watch this weekend, they would be some great options!

2016 Finalists

Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent”
Grimm: “Headache”
Jessica Jones: “AKA Smile”
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: “The Cutie Map” Parts 1 and 2
Supernatural: “Just My Imagination”

For the 2016 finalists, Jessica Jones is currently Netflix only. The Doctor Who, Grimm, and Supernatural episodes look like they are only available for purchase at the typical places (iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play) although if you have cable, I would check their On Demand listings. (Oh, and the UK among us can likely watch Doctor Who online through the BBC site.) My Little Pony does have those episodes on Netflix as well as I’m pretty sure available at the major retailers. So with Netflix and $6, you should be able to see all of them.

1941 Finalists

The Adventures of Superman: “The Baby from Krypton”
The Invisible Man Returns
Looney Tunes: “You Ought to Be in Pictures”
Merrie Melodies: “A Wild Hare”

The Retro finalists look like they are all available on YouTube in various forms, except for Pinocchio. I didn’t have time to check for pay versions, which is nice to support the owners, but considering most of them are 10-12 minute shorts, it might take a bit of digging to find which compilation includes them.

Pinocchio is the oddball here in that I couldn’t find the proper version – not even for purchase at the major streaming ones. If you are like me, you probably have a dusty VHS copy in those annoying oversized cases lying around, but probably no longer have anything to watch it on. (I hope I’m not the only one with boxes full of VHS tapes and no VCR, right?) I’m sure there are copies of questionable legality out there on the net (there is a version on YouTube but the audio is whacky – probably to avoid copyright detection) but you are on your own hunting for those. Looks like even the physical media copies aren’t very common. If someone knows of a legit, quality source, feel free to chime in. I didn’t dig into it too deeply, but the standard stops didn’t turn up anything. Otherwise, might have to just look back into many of our childhoods and see what we remember of it.


Alright, see you next week! Happy watching!

Next Week – Best Movie! (2016)

I have a schedule worked out and will get it posted hopefully later today once I pretty it up some. We will start on May 9 with 2016 Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) since:

  • I would be astounded if those finalists were included in the voter packet,
  • most of us are probably already familiar with the finalists, and should be able to access them easily if not,
  • I don’t see a problem discussing these on their merits alone,
  • it’s an exciting category with some really fun finalists, and
  • I didn’t get to it during nomination season.

The plan is every weekday to open a thread on each of the finalists in order listed on the Hugo site. Then just comment away and discuss them!! I will leave all comment threads open for the duration of the voting period. So, even though we will focus on particular categories each week, you can comment on them from that point on.

My main restriction is that on this site, we will only discuss the finalists on their merits as award worthy or not. Discussions of how they were nominated, larger cultural issues, etc. are all very important, but, those discussions are taking place in dozens upon dozens of other locations. Here we will only talk about the finalist works themselves.

Then on May 16, we will move on to:

  • 1941 Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) to give some time for people to watch them since many of us haven’t seen most of these
  • 2016 Best Related Work & John W. Campbell Award for New Writer since we need to double up some, and with something like the Campbell where there is the possibility of a body of multiple works, it would be useful to early on discuss what might be most award worthy (by those who are familiar with the writer) and then those of us who aren’t can have time to become familiar.



I managed to track down general availability of the movies and listed that below. If anyone has other commonly available sources, let me know.

2016 Finalist Thread opens Netflix Hulu iTunes Amazon YouTube
Avengers: Age of Ultron May 9 no no Yes Yes (no rent?, free with Starz sub) Purchase
Ex Machina May 10 no no Yes Yes, free rent with Amazon Prime Rent or purchase
Mad Max: Fury Road May 11 no no Yes, no rent Yes, no rent Purchase
The Martian May 12 no no Yes Yes Rent or purchase
Star Wars: The Force Awakens May 13 no no Yes Yes Rent or purchase

And for the following wee, here is what I could find for the 1941 Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). When looking for these, make sure to watch out for other versions from different years. Look for the 1940 version.

1941 Finalist Thread opens Netflix Hulu iTunes Amazon YouTube
Dr. Cyclops May 16 No no no DVD/VHS Yes
Fantasia May 17 Yes Yes no DVD/Blu-Ray no
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe May 18 no no no Rent, Free with CONtv? (free trial), DVD Yes
One Million B.C.  May 19 no no no used VHS Yes
The Thief of Bagdad May 20 no Yes no DVD/Blu-Ray no

Getting ready to talk about the Hugo Finalists!

I’m sure you all have seen it, but if not, the 2016 Hugo Finalists have been announced as well as the 1941 Retro Hugo Finalists. So, in my hopes to find a least one space on the intertubes where it is 100% about the works, I’m open to having discussion of them here if people are interested.

I’m sure you all have seen it, but if not, the 2016 Hugo Finalists have been announced as well as the 1941 Retro Hugo Finalists.

There will be inevitable debate and rancor over slating and such, but this year, personally, that doesn’t matter to me. Like I commented over at File770 (in before crash!), the “slate” was such a mixed bag to begin with, that slated or not doesn’t seem like a big deal when deciding on how to vote. (May be a very big deal when it comes to approving EPH, but that’s a discussion for elsewhere – an important one, but not the focus here).

So, in my hopes to find a least one space  on the intertubes where it is 100% about the works, I’m open to having discussion of them here if people are interested. (Any comments that even use the word “slate” will probably be moderated. There’s plenty of other places to discuss that aspect of the Hugos.) 🙂 There was a small crowd that was following the recommendations here by the end and I am no longer working two full time jobs, so I might actually be able to stay on top of this! I especially like the idea of having Focus Weeks since many categories often get overlooked.

There are 11 Retro categories and 17 non-Retro. Considering how few of my nominations made it to the final ballot, I know I need to track down a lot of these works. Some stuff is easily accessible to look at now, some stuff the Voting Packet will help with (if there is one, remember, nothing is promised with that!). I don’t see a deadline for voting yet, but last year it closed on July 31. So, assuming something similar, there is about 3 months. So we will have to double up some, but not unreasonable.

If you know of any of the nominated works that are available online for free (or behind common subscription walls – like how many of the Dramatic Presentations are available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or other major subscription packages for example), please comment below. I will compile a list and post it later this week. If works are only available for payment, I will include those as well (because authors deserve to get paid, of course). Thank you!

All Other Fiction

Life has been even more difficult and time consuming lately and time is running out. So how about we take recs for all other prose fiction categories – short story through novella this week. Was hoping to keep things spread out, but I’d rather not miss anything.

So send in your recs (someone already did, which prompted this – thank you!, I will start posting them somewhere in Monday to Wednesday depending on my schedule and how many come in. Then I will figure out how to lump together the other remaining categories, but we might just be getting to a free-for-all any and all categories soon. 🙂

Thank you all!

Best Fancast focus week postponed

Sorry, it’s been a crazy week for me with some unexpected stuff that came up. Plus us Americans have this holiday thing. 🙂 So, we can do fancast later. I would like to fit it in soon since someone suggested it would be great to spend time during holiday travels listening.

But for the moment, let’s plan on moving to Best Editor (short form) next week and go from there. I will update the schedule soon with how we can work it out.

So, for those celebrating and traveling for Thanksgiving – try finding some fancasts that look interesting. We will try to get some people recommending some a bit later.

Thank you!

Submit your recommendations!

I’m a bit behind (lousy day job), but I figured this might be a slow start anyway. Hopefully it will grow over time,

However, I have created the submission form and the basic guidelines of what I am looking for.

Please submit recommendation links here.

And please, definitely spread the word and the link. The more people we get talking about the works, the better this Hugo season will be.

Links to recommendations for any category are being accepted, but especially need Best Semiprozine and Best Fan Writer recommendations ASAP.

Thank you!

Revised Schedule

Based on feedback I have received and general ponderings on my own, here is my (possibly final) proposed schedule for the focus weeks:
Nov 1 – Best Semiprozine
Nov 8 – Best Fan Writer

Based on feedback I have received and general ponderings on my own, here is my (possibly final) proposed schedule for the focus weeks:

Nov 1 – Best Semiprozine
Nov 8 – Best Fan Writer
Nov 15 – Best Professional Artist
Nov 22 – Best Fancast
Nov 29 – Best Editor (Short Form)
Dec 6 – Best Fanzine
Dec 13 – Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Dec 20 – Break
Dec 27 – Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
Jan 3 – Best Fan Artist
Jan 10 – Best Novel
Jan 17 – Best Short Story
Jan 24 – Best Related Work
Jan 31 – Best Editor (Long Form)
Feb 7 – Best Novella
Feb 14 – Best Graphic Story
Feb 21 – Best Novelette
Feb 28 – The John W. Campbell Award
Mar 6 – Late Arrivals

I would have link round-up posts Monday through Friday. On the weekends we could possibly have posts for the Retro Hugos. Or if they announce the categories sooner rather than later, we could start early with the Retros, but we will see.

Further thoughts and opinions?

Tentative Schedule

Here is my first pass at a schedule for the focus weeks during Recommendation Season.

Focus Week Schedule (tentative)

Oct 18 – Best Novel
Oct 25 – The John W. Campbell Award
Nov 1 –  Best Related Work
Nov 8 –  Best Editor (Long Form)
Nov 15 – Best Fan Writer
Nov 22 – Best Novella
Nov 29 – Best Semiprozine
Dec 6 – Best Novelette
Dec 13 – Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Dec 20 – Break
Dec 27 – Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
Jan 3 – Best Editor (Short Form)
Jan 10 – Best Short Story
Jan 17 – Best Graphic Story
Jan 24 – Best Fancast
Jan 31 – Best Fanzine
Feb 7 – Best Professional Artist
Feb 14 – Best Fan Artist
Feb 21 – Late Arrivals
Feb 28 – Late Arrivals Week 2?

My thinking was as follows:

  • Lead with Best Novel. Good to start with a big one (many would argue *the* big one) to get as much interest as early as possible.
  • Related to that, have categories that might be more time consuming nearer the front to give more time for reading recommendations you like. So novel, definitely early. The (non-Hugo) Campbell Award for New Writer have early since it’s about people who may have several works, including novels. Same for Best Editor Long Form.
  • Mix it up some. This is my randomly just kind of adding things to dates by feel, ineffable guide.
  • Not have all of the fan awards at the end – although I’m not sure I satisfied that one well. I worried that with things like Best Novel, Campbell, and various prose categories at the beginning, it might fizzle more at the end with less interest. However, there is also the fact that the later half will be during actual nomination season. So there might be more interest overall during January and February than November and December, so it might be a wash.
  • I did add both artist categories at the end. The only reason for this is that, unlike, say novels, zines, or even short stories, evaluating what artists’ works you like and don’t can be pretty quick. We can be such visual creatures, we can seem to judge visual creative works faster than written. So leave the quickest for the end, I figured.
  • I left a break for Christmas/other December holidays, both because I will personally be traveling to visit family quite a bit then and because I’m a firm believer in breaks to rest and recharge.
  • Finally, I added a week or two at the end for works that come out in November or December after their focus weeks and things people simply thought of later. Might do “focus days” or something here and combine some categories. We will see.
  • Edited to add: Also, I went for mid-October to end of February because I wanted to finish before March so that there was time to check out things that caught your eye during recommendations, plus 1 week per category including the (not a Hugo) Campbell. So that pushed it to mid-October. We could shift it a couple weeks and have the Late Arrivals week or two in March and start November 1 (which was my original intent until I did the math).

Thoughts? Opinions? This seem workable? What should be moved where?