Archive for SF/F News

Tiptree Longlist Controversy


Sorry for the radio silence lately.

The blogosphere was on fire yesterday with the news that apparently a piece of fanfiction (“Arcana” by Emily Brunson – the work has since been removed from the web) was on the long list for this year’s Tiptree Award (1). There are, of course, strong opinions on either side. Fanfic has been looked down upon for years – it’s a copyright violation (which is true), it’s not “real writing” (not quite so true), it takes no skill (untrue) and there’s a lot of crap out there (true of any art). The other side, well, they just argue the opposite. I (2) realized that there’s a fine line – if someone hires you to write, it’s no longer fanfic. But what’s the difference between a Star Wars fanfic and a Star Wars novel? Money, licensing, permission, and perhaps skill. I write professional fanfic when I write in established RPG worlds. I’ve written World of Warcraft fanfic and Exalted fanfic, technically.

However, the sticky situation comes up when you realize if the piece had won, then the author would have received things such as chocolate, a trip to the award ceremony at WisCon, and… money. That’s right. The author would have received money, making the “homage” copyright violation (something that’s usually accepted online) into a definite illegal commercial copyright violation.

People are questioning the credibility of the judges, as fanfic isn’t even considered “published”, was the piece good enough, should it be judged on writing or just gender exploration, etc. It’s an interesting situation. I have to admit that my opinion of fanfic has changed in the past years, but I’m still firmly in the camp that it should be seen as a hobby that hones writing skill and is fun to do, not something you can publish, no matter how good it is.

[EDIT- response from Debbie Notkin, chair of the Tiptree motherboard in the comments.]

(1) James Tiptree Jr. Award celebrates scifi that explores gender issues. The 2005 winner was “Air: Or, Have Not Have” by Geoff Ryman

(2)This was written by Mur, not Steve.

The Dragon Page Expands the Reach of Podcasting


Summer Brooks, Producer of The Dragon Page podcasts, reports that this Saturday they will be doing something new with Cover to Cover.

We will be recording the next “Cover to Cover” feature on Saturday, May 13th, beginning at 10:30am Pacific Time.

What makes this different is that we’ll be talking with 3 authors from Edge Publications, and you’ll be able to call in with questions and comments during and after their roundtable discussion.

Rebecca Rowe (“Forbidden Cargo”), Lynda Williams (“Courtesan Prince”, “Throne Prince”, “Righteous Anger”), and Australian author and Borealis winner K.A. Bedford (“Orbital”, “Eclipse”, “Hydrogen Steel”) will be talking about their books, all of which have something to do with genetic modification and the use of nanotechnology in humans.

Listeners will be able to hear the feed here:
http://haven.homelinux.net:12346/listen.pls

Australian listeners can catch a feed closer to home:
http://stream.froosh.net:8000/wingin_it.m3u

We are in the process of adding another server, so keep an eye out here, and in the new IRC channel #dragonpage for more news.

Both IRC channels #dragonpage and #wingin_it are available at irc.freenode.net

Leave it to Michael and Evo and the Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas to fiddle with the possibilities of the awesomeness of podcasting. If you’ve got some time Saturday, check it out.

Free Hugo Nominated Works


Limited to Hugo voters (members of LACon IV, this year’s WorldCon), free electronic copies of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin and Charlie Stross’s Accelerando are available! More information on how to get your copies are on Scalzi’s blog. (Stross’s Accelerando is also available to non-voters through his site.)

And for those of you (us) who are unable to make it to WorldCon, instead of gnashing your teeth and beating your breast, why not snuggle down with the free e-book of James Patrick Kelly’s nominated work, Burn? If you missed the podcast (shame on you, it was fantastic) then you can still get it for free through e-book (you can still download all the chapters through podcast, if you want to hear Jim’s voice telling the story in his compelling way.) All information on his site.

And then, of course, you have at least four of the five nominated short stories available here on Escape Pod starting this week!

Congratulations to the Nebula Winners!


Last night the Nebula Awards, presented by the SFWA, were awarded in Tempe, Ariz.

The winners were:

NOVEL
Camouflage, Joe Haldeman

NOVELLA
“Magic for Beginners”, Kelly Link

NOVELETTE
“The Faery Handbag”, Kelly Link

SHORT STORY
“I Live With You”, Carol Emshwiller

SCRIPT
Serenity, Joss Whedon

ANDRE NORTON AWARD
Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie, Holly Black

Harlan Ellison was honored by becoming Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master for his lifetime achievement in science fiction and fantasy. William F. Nolan was honored as Author Emeritus.

Congrats to all the winners!

Robots and Year’s Best Fantasy


I just learned on Greg’s blog that “Robots and Falling Hearts,” by Greg van Eekhout and Tim Pratt, has been selected by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer for The Year’s Best Fantasy 6, to be published this summer.

Think there’s any possibility that they heard the story here?

Congratulations, guys! It’s a well-deserved honor, and we wish you both the very best.

Win Serenity Tickets!


Are you in or near Atlanta, Georgia? Want to see the preview screening of Serenity on June 23?

Escape Pod has, through subtle and nefarious means, scored a pair of tickets to the event. And because we’re idio–I mean, because we love you, we’re giving them away. All you have to do is answer a few questions about our show.

If you’re not in Atlanta, and not willing to drive/fly/tunnel your way here, then I’m sorry. For our next contest we’ll try to offer something every science fiction fan can use. (And no, I’m not talking about Alyson Hannigan. Ask again later.)

The Serenity Spoiler Review


(Clarification: No, this isn’t a real spoiler review. It’s a joke, okay?)

**Escape Pod #3** will be up later tonight. It’ll probably be uploaded at the same time some of you will be in one of twenty theaters around the country, watching the unfinished preview screener of [Serenity](http://www.serenitymovie.com/).

(*Note:* an earlier version of this same rant appeared on the [Slice of SciFi](https://www.sliceofscifi.com) podcast earlier this month. If you’ve heard it twice… C’mon, it was funny both times, right?)