The Evil of Choosing Among Lessers
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
2w ago
This blog post is a part of the Hugo Book Club Blog’s cinema club, which has been working its way year by year through all the Hugo-finalist movies and television episodes.  In the early 1970s, NBC executive Paul L. Klein explained how the major networks created television programming. The then-dominant Big Three American networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) believed that people didn’t watch specific programs, they watched television, and therefore the successful strategy was not to make high-quality shows, but rather to make the shows that would cause the fewest viewers to change the channel ..read more
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God Never Talks. But the Devil Keeps Advertising. — Hugo Cinema 1974
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
2w ago
This blog post is the seventeenth in a series examining past winners of the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award. An introductory blog post is here. If you looked only at the Hugo shortlist for 1974, you might be excused for assuming that it was just a bad year for screen science fiction and fantasy. But there were, in fact, excellent movies and even television shows to be found. The Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation had missed the mark before, but never this substantially. Rather than dwell on the uninspiring shortlist, the frankly abysmal winner, or the at-best controversial celebr ..read more
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Anthropocene Ruminations
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
1M ago
In 1933, Lawrence Manning — the first great Canadian science fiction author — wrote The Man Who Awoke. From the perspective of historians thousands of years in the future, the novel describes our present day as the ‘age of waste’ and paints a picture of a climate irreversibly damaged by human activity. It could be argued that this is the beginning of climate fiction — of cli-fi — as a recognizable subgenre. Interestingly, the novel predates the scientific discovery of climate change by almost five years. Guy Stewart Callendar was the first scientist to show that the planet was warming d ..read more
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The Tentacle of Empathy
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
1M ago
One of the most interesting evolutions within science fiction over the past two decades has been the ways in which non-human consciousnesses are depicted. (image via Hachette UK) From the dawn of the genre, there has been a commendable attempt by many authors to expand the definition of what beings are worthy of human-level rights. However, in previous decades many have struggled to imagine something truly alien; Klingon, Wookie, Kzinti, Gallifreyan, and Melmacian are all only differentiated from humans by body shape and culture. Even the supposedly ancient and unknowable Vorlons of ..read more
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Workers of All Worlds Unite
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
2M ago
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Battle of the Vonneguts - Hugo Cinema 1973
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
2M ago
This blog post is the sixteenth in a series examining past winners of the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award. An introductory blog post is here. The hotel’s aging air conditioning system wheezed and struggled as the temperatures soared above 100F (30C) outside the Royal York in Toronto in the beginning of September, 1973. Almost three thousand fans had made their way to Canada’s largest city for the 31st World Science Fiction Convention; a crowd that far eclipsed any previous Worldcon. The stump of the CN Tower in August, 1973 as seen from near the Worldcon convention hotel ..read more
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Space Nazis Must Die
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
2M ago
Hitler’s goon squad casts a long shadow over science fiction.  “We will fight them on the beaches...” (Image via IMDB.com) It’s easy to see the outline of Nazi soldiers in the Impirial Military of Star Wars, Doctor Who’s Daleks, The Alliance in Firefly, or the Terran Federation shock troops in Blake’s 7. Deliberate choices are made in films to offer the connotation of Nazi, often including immaculately tailored Hugo-Boss-style uniforms, Teutonic heel taps of the jackboots when marching, and Riefenstahllian visuals of parade grounds and iconic banners. Sometimes, there’s a sugg ..read more
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A Unanimous Gold Mine Of Subtext
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
3M ago
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Sun Ra and Samuel R. Delany had tried to make The Matrix, the answer is something like Neptune Frost. Burudian rapper Kaya Free (AKA Bertrand Ninteretse) gives a compelling nuanced performance as Matalusa in Neptune Frost.  (Image via the Facebook Page of Saul Williams)  A collaboration between alternative hip-hop artist and provocateur Saul Williams and Rwandan artist and playwright Anisia Uzeyman, Neptune Frost is structured in alternating segments between a story following a coltan miner named Matalusa whos ..read more
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Clash of the Cinema Titans (1972)
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
4M ago
The early 1970s saw a flourishing of SFF cinema. In 1971 alone, Jim McBride’s X-rated Glen and Randa scandalized audiences with post-apocalyptic sex scenes, and garnered critical love along the way. Boris Sagal threw Charleton Heston to the vampires in the blockbuster The Omega Man. And Josef Pinkava offered audiences a whimsical tale of children with a magical computer in The Wishing Machine. But these films were up against long odds to make the Hugo shortlist.  The shortlist in 1972 may have provided the most star-studded Best Dramatic Presentation ballot the awards have ever seen.&nbs ..read more
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Hat on a Hat
Hugo Book Club Blog
by Unknown
6M ago
One of the first things that an aspiring improv comedian will learn is this: Never put a hat on a hat. Basically, what this means is that when you have a strong premise, it’s usually inadvisable to distract it by layering a different premise overtop of it. To put it another way, cognitive dissonance caused by disharmonious conceptual work will distract from strong material. This is an extremely well written book filled with great ideas. It’s unsurprising that Ryka’s other works have been recognized by the Lambda Literary Awards. (Image via Goodreads) Despite being an exceptionally ..read more
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