1941 Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Some very interesting finalists in the Retro side of this category:

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”

So, who is at the top of your list and why?

As always, keep in mind the Comment Rules, and let’s discuss the Hugo finalists!

2016 Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Ok, back to business! Still a few weeks left in voting, so here are the finalists for basically Best TV Episode (keep hoping to see some short films on there someday, but TV shows are just too widely popular).

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”

So, who is at the top of your list and why?

As always, keep in mind the Comment Rules, and let’s discuss the Hugo finalists!

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!

Last Recommendations!

Well, we’re to the end of my little project for this year. I cannot thank all of you enough for sending in recommendations and offering to help – it’s been great! When I started this, I had no idea if anyone at all would even come to the site, let alone send in recommendations. For a first year effort, in many ways it went better than I had hoped, and in others (me keeping up on the schedule) it was much rougher.

I’m hoping to do this again next year, and with having a better idea of the rough spots and ideas on running things better, I’m pretty excited about it (I should be only working 1 full time job next year, so that will help). 🙂 I’m also taking a realistic look at my schedule the rest of Spring and early Summer to consider doing a Phase 2 and posting link rounds up of discussions about the nominees after they are announced. With some short lists, I think it might actually be easier to get a lot of discussion around particular focus categories and not just have 90% of the discussion be about Best Novel (although that’s still better than 99% of the discussion being arguments about the process and how terrible people are like it was last year with extremely little about the works themselves – please, please, let there be more discussion about the works themselves this time!!)

So if you think that would be useful, feel free to speak up. We will see how it goes. Either way, get your nominations in!!!

And now, the final recommendations that have come in both for the final categories as well as late arrivals for past focus weeks.

Thank you.

Best Fancast

Sequential Fiction – Sequential Fiction is a weekly comics and pop culture podcast that has a focus on comics, sci-fi and fantasy.Brian and Liam talk about what interests them in comics and pop culture, and interview guests from time to time.

Other – The Retro Hugos

The Retro Hugos – Not a specific recommendation, or a specific category – but the Retro Hugos for 1941 are also up for consideration this year, and I have considered them, probably not very well, and I’ve written down my thoughts.

Best Graphic Story

Avengers, Time Runs Out Vol 4 – Hickman took years to set up this endgame, and manages to have it live up to that setup. It’s a story about the end of the world that, rather than being depressing is about survival. It’s about not giving in, and clawing and scraping, and using all of your wit to find a way to keep going somehow, someway.

Best Fan Artist

D. West – A call for a final fond farewell to UK fannish landmark D. West (1945-2015).

Best Novelette

And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead – Every bit as cheerful as it sounds – a piece of bloody, visceral, intense cyberpunk by Brooke Bolander.

Best Novel

Cursed: Black Swan – A Fixer Novel – Cursed: Black Swan – A Fixer Novel is the debut novel from Ryan T. McFadden. Nathaniel is a fixer, if there is a job you need done, he is the one to do it. When he gets mixed up in the case of the Black Swan, he finds that everyone is out to get him. It’s a thrill ride in the vein of Raymond E Feist meets Eric Van Lustbader.

The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild – Catherynne M. Valente’s picaresque, fairy-tale quest across a psychedelic landscape of colours.

Merman’s Mark – This book was so rich in detail and story I was gripped from start to finish. Tara Omar creates and populates two intricate worlds with dynamic characters, cultures, and a plot that keeps the reader turning the page. The next book can’t come soon enough!

The Ticket Taker of Cenote Zací – Benjamin Parzybok’s story of a tourist attraction where the number of visitors… doesn’t quite add up.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Da Vinci’s Demons “The Labrys” (Writer/Will Pascoe and Director/Alex Pillai) – Leonardo Da Vinci has been captured by the secretive Labyrinth cult who are attempting to brainwash to convert him to their cause. As a form of resistance, Da Vinci escapes to an alternate reality/parallel universe inside his mind where the choices he’s made in his life turn out to have their own dark consequences.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) 3 of 3 – TV Episodes

The three parts of Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) are:

  1. Short Films
  2. Podcasts & Audio
  3. TV Episodes (this post)

Warning: There may be spoilers below.


The 100: “Bodyguard of Lies”
As the army makes its way towards Mt. Weather, Clarke and Lexa deal with unresolved issues.

Doctor Who, “Heaven Sent”
Possibly the stand-out episode of the latest series, with the Doctor trapped and alone, with nothing but his wits to help him escape… and, it turns out, a certain amount of patience and determination.

Doctor Who: “Heaven Sent”
In the wake of Clara Oswald’s death, The Doctor finds himself in a water-locked castle, trying to avoid death at the hands of a mysterious creature.

The Expanse: “CQB”
Holden and the Donnager face a mysterious enemy.

The Flash: “Fast Enough”
To save his mother, Barry uses his speed to travel back in time.

Game of Thrones: “Hardhome”
Arya trains, Sansa confronts Reek, Cersei struggles, and Jon and Tormund embark to chat with the Wilding elders.

Gravity Falls: “Not What He Seems”
When Grunkle Stan is arrested by government agents, the Pine twins realize how little they actually know about him,

The Leftovers: “International Assassin”
Kevin’s decision to vanquish Patti raises repercussions; Kevin finds himself in a strange place.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: “AKA Sin Bin”
Kilgrave is confined in a glass cage and more aspects of his past are revealed. Hogarth complicates the situation.

Person of Interest “If-Then-Else”
The Machine has always been a main character of the series as well as the premise. Here’s an episode from its POV.

Person of Interest: “If-Then-Else”
The team goes on a potential suicide mission to save the stock exchange from Samaritan. The Machine analyzes possible outcomes to try and find the best route to take.

Rick and Morty: “Total Rickall”
Parasites take over the Smith household and inject fake memories (and fake characters) into their minds. (broh)

Sense8 “What is Human?”
I greatly recommend it for a Hugo nomination. Even if I could only nominate one thing this year, I would push aside all the stories I have read, and nominate this episode.

Sense8: “I Can’t Leave Her”
As Riley gets captured by the Whispers, the sensates rush to save her.

Steven Universe: “The Return/Jail Break”
The Homeworld Gems finally arrive at Beach City.

Steven Universe: Full Disclosure

George R.R. Martin
having a general discussion of several recommendations.

Many recommendations at Sad Puppies 4

Some echoing above, most are short “this is great” recs, but still plenty of great episodes to consider.

The Blacklist – season 2 episode 19 ‘Leonard Caul’

Daredevil “Cut Man”

Daredevil “Daredevil”

Defiance “My Name is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You” & Upon the March We Fittest Die”

Gravity Falls: Season 2, Episode 10, Northwest Mansion Mystery

iZombie – “Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat”

Jessica Jones, episode 8, “AKA WWJD?”

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – “Chapter Six: The Black Tower”

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Season 5, Episodes 1 & 2: “The Cutie Map”

Parks and Recreation, season 7 episode 5, “Gryzzlebox.” (Yes, they make a good case for an episode of Parks & Rec being nominated!)

Person of Interest – Season 4, Episode 19 – “Search and Destroy”

Rick & Morty: “Total Rickall”

Steven Universe: ‘The Return/Jail Break’

Tales of Alethrin – “The First Hero”



Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) 2 of 3 – Podcasts and Audio

The three parts of Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) are:

  1. Short Films
  2. Podcasts & Audio (this post)
  3. TV Episodes

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful” by Nightwish – Symphonic metal album with more science fact than fiction but with a nod to fantasy as well (one track, “Edema Ruh”, is about the nomadic entertainers of that name from Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle).

Limetown: “Scarecrow” – The midpoint between Welcome top Night Vale, Serial, and The X-Files, Limetown is an utter treat that stands as a pivotal moment in podcasting. In this episode, Lia interviews Deidre.

PBS’s The Race for Space (music and spoken word) and Frankenstein by the Mechanisms – (UK-based steampunk folk band The Mechanisms looks to have you covered. Retelling the classic gothic tale as a ten-minute song about a rogue AI)

Red Panda Adventures Episode 114 “final chapter” of the Red Panda Adventures.” – The Red Panda Adventures is a modern version of an old time radio comic book superhero adventure. The writing is great, the acting is even better.

Welcome to Night Vale “Best Of?” – Prairie Home Companion meets the Twilight Zone  –  but with regular host Cecil on vacation, former host Leonard Burton comes out of supposed retirement to share clips from Cecil’s early career in a way that only makes sense in Night Vale.

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) 1 of 3 – Short Films

Well, this was definitely a very popular category. So much so, that I am going to break it up into 3 posts, especially since a number of recommendations are not the usual television episodes, which I think is great! Nothing wrong with TV, but for considering recommendations, I am all for looking far and wide for the best sci-fi/fantasy of the year.

Today will be Short Films. Tomorrow will be Podcasts & Other Audio. Friday will be Television Episodes.

Next week I want to work on catching up by jumping to Best Fan Artist. Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) is another one that will have a lot of interest, but I think, unlike Short Form, will have a smaller variety of obvious choices (although this year, that are some really great choices!). It should be fine later in the season, possibly in a shortened week.

Short Film Recommendations

Kung Fury

Every Michael Bay movie wants to be this when it grows up.  Every. Single. One.

(additional, but briefer, recs at Sad Puppies 4 and I heartily recommend this as well!)


The Shaman

The story is an amazing and seamless blend of ancient and futuristic with a shaman entering a netherworld to try and convert the soul of massive robotic engine of destruction.


Uncanny Valley

Short but very well-produced film about VR immersive gaming – with an unexpected twist.


World of Tomorrow

A woman brings her younger self into the future and gives her a tour.

Submit Best Dramatic Presentations recommendations!

Here are the submission form and some general guidelines for all submissions.

This week(ish) I am collecting links to recommendations for Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form and up next is Long Form. So feel free to start submitting both if you like!

Although I’m sure the (well-deserved) perennial recommendations for Doctor Who and Game of Thrones will appear (and please do recommend your favorites from each of those – don’t assume just because they are popular, you don’t need to speak up for them!), I am interested in seeing what other recommendations there are. Sci Fi television is growing nicely especially with Amazon and Netflix getting into the game, and SyFy making a turn back towards the SciFi (beyond MegaBearricane vs. SnailSuperStorm).

What is award-worthy this year and, most importantly, why is it award worthy?

It seems with TV and film, people are far more spoiler-worried, so I humbly request (but don’t require) if you want to include spoilers in your recommendation, please start with the spoiler-free stuff and then warn before hitting spoilers. It’s the polite thing to do. Plus, since that vast majority (if not all) of these will be episodes in an on-going series, it would be extra nice if you included some background info in case someone who has never watched/listened to the series wants to drop in on that one episode you recommend.

Also, TV series seem to always dominate this category, but audio productions qualify as well. So professional podcasts are included (why, oh why hasn’t Welcome to Night Vale not been nominated?!), as well as Radio Dramas common to the BBC (trying to track down if Good Omens was all in December of 2014 or if it lasted into early 2015, as well as what they definitely aired this year).

There is also the occasional series/season-as-a-whole for Long Form debate as well. At a glance, it seems only Heroes Season 1 was nominated and lost, and Game of Thrones Season 1 was nominated and won. So it’s rare, but with more and more of these shows having a much stronger central storyline across an entire season, I can easily seeing it become more common. Netflix is certainly moving in that direction with Daredevil and Sense8 and such (and I’m sure others, Amazon’s Man in the High Castle maybe?, but I’m behind in my watching). Add in mini-series and radio dramas, and I can see motion pictures getting some strong competition – although there are several strong movie contenders as well. Either way, submit your dramatic presentation recommendations of any length, and just make a best guess for category.

I’m sliding into being biased, so I will save that for my own recommendations I will write up in the next few days. If you don’t have a blog or other space of you own, Long Form dramatic presentation has an open thread at Weird Kitties if you like, and Sad Puppies 4 has open threads for Short Form and Long Form. Or I will leave comments open on this message for people to post recommendations if necessary. Remember, I prefer at least a paragraph saying why you loved it.

Thank you for your submissions, and let’s share the love for some great sci fi and fantasy presentations!