Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form – Wonder Woman

In general I have been much more of a fan of the MCU than the DCEU. Even growing up I never read DC comics, I was all about X-men and Spider Man 2099 (Which they need to make into a movie or TV show). The Marvel movies have been far superior, in my opinion. However, DC hit it out of the park with Wonder Woman. After the horrible Batman Vs. Superman I really had my doubts about whether or not they would be able to make Wonder Woman work. Only a few weekends ago did I finally watch Justice League and I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed it. Wonder Woman was probably the best part but the Flash was a close second.

Back to the Wonder Woman movie I think that DC and Patty Jenkins made a lot of excellent choices that really made the movie work. We get a decent amount of time with the ass kicking Amazons on Themyscira and they also set the movie in WW I. There was a decent amount of humor and the casting, especially of Gal Gadot was pretty spot on. I think I could watch Gal Gadot read the phone book for 2 hours and I’d pay to watch it. The fight scenes were also fantastic.

That leads into my main complaint about the movie. It lasted a little too long and I didn’t particularly care for the big bad. The final fight scene just dragged a little bit for me, I honestly thought the movie was over and then there was another 15 minute fight scene. I thought the big bad in Justice League, Steppenwolf, was much better than Ares who didn’t even reveal himself until the very end of the movie. Overall Wonder Woman was awesome and if you haven’t dipped your toes into the DC cinematic universe I would suggest you watch Wonder Woman first.

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form – Star Wars – The Last Jedi

I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. As you can see from the picture above with my home made Jedi robes, plastic light saber, and frosted tips (It was 1999 believe me they were super cool back then). I like Star Wars a lot. I have my Episode I ticket that I camped out for in a 1/4″ thick plastic case. I don’t even really like The Phantom Menace and I’ve seen the movie in the theater 9 times. So of course the release of a new Star Wars film is kind of a big deal for me.

I honestly never thought that we’d get more Star Wars after the critical reception of Episodes I-III. But thankfully George Lucas sold the rights and Disney will churn their Billion dollar making machines out like candy. I started getting super obsessed with Star Wars in high school. I collected the cards, had my mom buy me tons of prequel toys (some of which are worth surprising amounts of money now), and watched the special edition re-releases A LOT. I had my mom make me a Jedi costume (As seen above) for the Episode I premier and I even practiced a choreographed light saber fight with my buddy the entire weekend before. I now am the proud owner of an Obi-Wan Kenobi Cosplay that cost me a shameful amount of money to put together. But I love it and Star Wars.

I really liked The Last Jedi. It was surprisingly funny while still keeping the darkness and gritty feeling that most 2nd movies of the Star Wars triple features usually have. In terms of the overall Star Wars Universe I’d say it’s in my top 5 films. I’ve been thinking about my ranking of Star Wars films lately. Mainly because I’ve been watching Rogue One every weekend for the past month or so. I don’t have any kids and my wife travels to dog shows on the weekends a lot so I have a lot of free time. Sue me.

Rogue One is in my top 3 favorite Star Wars films and probably top 5 or 6 movies of all time. It perfectly captures how I imagine the Star Wars universe to look and feel during that time period. I’ve read almost every Star Wars books and the nixing of what is now termed the “Legends” canon is one of the saddest things about the Disney acquisition. I loved so many of those books but I’ve been voraciously reading all of the new books as well and they are pretty solid so far. Especially anything by Timothy Zahn.

Along with Rogue One I’ve also caught up on the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, which means as usual I’ve got Star Wars on my brain all the time. Rebels has some of the best characters in the Star Wars Universe. Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the best big bads period. He was awesome in the Zahn Legends trilogy and he is awesome in the new timeline and canon. I’m very excited he’s a part of the universe still and I hope he comes back for Episode IX since the finale of Rebels left a lot of unanswered questions. Speaking of best characters ever Ashoka Tano is one of my favorite characters of all time in any universe. so with all that said here’s my rankings of the movies (shows not included but they are awesome).

Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

Rogue One

A New Hope

The Last Jedi

The Force Awakens

Revenge of the Sith

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

 

One of the goals I’ve set for myself in this crazy journey to become a writer is to work on/write for Star Wars. Someday It’ll happen.

Journey through the Hugo Award Nominees

As I mentioned the 2018 Hugo Awards Finalists list was released last weekend and since I get to vote and attend the ceremony this year I’m going to try and consume as many of the nominees that I can before August. I will post the finalists list as a sticky on the blog and then update it as I make my way through the list and post about each entry. The list is as follows:

2018 Hugo Awards Finalists

Best Novel

  • The Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (Tor) *I will listen to on Audio Book after I finish the first book of Expeditionary force *
  • New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit) *Will likely be the April book club selection for my sci-fi fantasy book club, Fantastical Voyagers*
  • Provenance, by Ann Leckie (Orbit) *I will start with this nominee*
  • Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
  • The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit) *I read the first book in this series and liked it so I may have to finish the trilogy*

Best Novella

  • All Systems Red, by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing) MURDERBOT!
  • “And Then There Were (N-One),”by Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny, March/April 2017)
  • Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven, by JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com Publishing) *I will start with this one as I’ve been seeing it all over TOR and have been wanting to read it*

Best Novelette

  • “Children of Thorns, Children of Water,”by Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny, July-August 2017)
  • “Extracurricular Activities,”by Yoon Ha Lee (Tor.com, February 15, 2017) *I love TOR so I will read this one first*
  • “The Secret Life of Bots,”by Suzanne Palmer (Clarkesworld, September 2017)
  • “A Series of Steaks,”by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Clarkesworld, January 2017)
  • “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time,”by K.M. Szpara (Uncanny, May/June 2017)
  • “Wind Will Rove,”by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, September/October 2017)

Best Short Story

  • “Carnival Nine,”by Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2017)
  • “Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand,”by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, September 2017)
  • “Fandom for Robots,”by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny, September/October 2017)
  • “The Martian Obelisk,”by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 19, 2017) *Sticking with my TOR theme and will read this one first*
  • “Sun, Moon, Dust”by Ursula Vernon, (Uncanny, May/June 2017)
  • “Welcome to your Authentic Indian Experience™,”by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex, August 2017)

Best Related Work

  • Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, by Zoe Quinn (PublicAffairs)
  • Iain M. Banks (Modern Masters of Science Fiction), by Paul Kincaid (University of Illinois Press) *I’ve started reading the Culture series so I will tackle this one first*
  • A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, by Nat Segaloff (NESFA Press)
  • Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Sleeping with Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Liz Bourke (Aqueduct Press)

Best Graphic Story

  • Black Bolt, Volume 1: Hard Time, written by Saladin Ahmed, illustrated by Christian Ward, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Marvel) *Since this is volume 1 I will start with this one*
  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles (Image Comics)
  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood, written by Marjorie M. Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, written and illustrated by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 3, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image Comics)
  • Saga, Volume 7, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics) *I’ve been wanting to read saga for a long time now so I will make my way through this one right off the bat too, but I will start with Volume 1*

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form

  • Blade Runner 2049, written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Alcon Entertainment / Bud Yorkin Productions / Torridon Films / Columbia Pictures) My Review
  • Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Blumhouse Productions / Monkeypaw Productions / QC Entertainment)
  • The Shape of Water, written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, directed by Guillermo del Toro (TSG Entertainment / Double Dare You / Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Lucasfilm, Ltd.) Star Wars, Yeah!
  • Thor: Ragnarok, written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; directed by Taika Waititi (Marvel Studios) Hulk and Thor, Smash!
  • Wonder Woman, screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins (DC Films / Warner Brothers) *Already viewed blog post coming soon*

Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

  • Black Mirror: “USS Callister,”written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, directed by Toby Haynes (House of Tomorrow) *I will start with this one*
  • “The Deep”[song], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)
  • Doctor Who: “Twice Upon a Time,”written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Cymru Wales) *I’m not fully caught up on Dr Who but were on the current doctor before he regenerates into Jodie Whittaker, which I’m really freaking stoked about*
  • The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit,”written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television) *Love me some good place, I’ve already watched the whole series but I will rewatch and then blog this episode*
  • The Good Place: “The Trolley Problem,”written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television) *ditto from above*
  • Star Trek: Discovery: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,”written by Aron Eli Coleite & Jesse Alexander, directed by David M. Barrett (CBS Television Studios) *I’m not quite done with the first season yet but I did like this episode, blog post coming soon*

Best Editor – Short Form *I’ll so some research on these folks before I vote*

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Lee Harris
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor – Long Form *I’ll so some research on these folks before I vote*

  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Joe Monti
  • Diana M. Pho
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist *I’ll so some research on these folks before I vote*

  • Galen Dara
  • Kathleen Jennings
  • Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

Best Semiprozine *I’m familiar with several of these so I’ll check out the rest of the nominees before voting*

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James
  • Escape Pod, edited by Mur Lafferty, S.B. Divya, and Norm Sherman, with assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney
  • Fireside Magazine, edited by Brian White and Julia Rios; managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry; special feature editor Mikki Kendall; publisher & art director Pablo Defendini
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Kate Dollarhyde, Gautam Bhatia, A.J. Odasso, Lila Garrott, Heather McDougal, Ciro Faienza, Tahlia Day, Vanessa Rose Phin, and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, and Julia Rios; podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky

Best Fanzine *Not familiar with any of these so will give them a look see before voting*

  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
  • Galactic Journey, edited by Gideon Marcus
  • Journey Planet, edited by Team Journey Planet
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
  • Rocket Stack Rank, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
  • SF Bluestocking, edited by Bridget McKinney

Best Fancast *Hooray podcasts, I don’t listen to many of them but I will give each of these a listen then vote*

  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts; produced by Andrew Finch
  • Sword and Laser, presented by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
  • Verity!, presented by Deborah Stanish, Erika Ensign, Katrina Griffiths, L.M. Myles, Lynne M. Thomas, and Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Fan Writer *I will check all these out then vote*

  • Camestros Felapton
  • Sarah Gailey
  • Mike Glyer
  • Foz Meadows
  • Charles Payseur
  • Bogi Takács

Best Fan Artist *I will check all these out then vote*

  • Geneva Benton
  • Grace P. Fong
  • Maya Hahto
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Steve Stiles

Best Series

  • The Books of the Raksura, by Martha Wells (Night Shade)
  • The Divine Cities, by Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway)
  • InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire (DAW)
  • The Memoirs of Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan (Tor US / Titan UK) *I’ve been wanting to check out this series for a while so I will start here, these will be tough to get through the series before August so I’ll try to read the first book in each series*
  • The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson (Tor US / Gollancz UK)
  • World of the Five Gods, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Harper Voyager / Spectrum Literary Agency)

 

2018 Associated Awards (not Hugos)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer *Hopefully I’m on this list someday*

  • Katherine Arden
  • Sarah Kuhn
  • Jeannette Ng
  • Vina Jie-Min Prasad
  • Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Rivers Solomon

The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) Award for Best Young Adult Book *Hopefully Harbingers is on this list one of these some days too*

  • Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)
  • The Art of Starving, by Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
  • The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman (Knopf) *I’ll start with this one because Knopf published a lot of Crichton books*
  • In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan (Big Mouth House)
  • A Skinful of Shadows, by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK / Harry N. Abrams US)
  • Summer in Orcus, written by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon), illustrated by Lauren Henderson (Sofawolf Press)

 

As you can see I’ve got my work cut out for me before August. But I’m looking forward to the journey, now I’m off to find, purchase, and mark want to read on Goodreads for all the nominees. Yeehaw, happy April!

No April Foolin’

Spring has officially arrived in the Tri-cities. Along with spring Camp Nano and the Hugo nominees have arrived. I’m attending my first writing convention with my co-worker this year. It’s WorldCon in San Jose and I’m pretty damn excited. One of the most exciting things about going to WorldCon, other than potentially meeting a bunch of awesome folks in the publishing industry, is that we get to vote on the Hugo awards and go to the awards ceremony. Along with Camp Nano, I’m going to start making my way through as many of the nominees for the Hugo’s that I can before we have to vote. Oh yeah we get to vote on the awards too! I’ll post a list of all the nominee’s and then start tracking what I’m reading and watching and blogging about.

My goals for April are to blog every day, write every day, and read or watch something from the Hugo awards list every day. I’ve officially listed book 2 of the Harbingers series as my Camp Nano novel but I’m also going to work as much as possible on book 1 revision. My plan is to have the first 30-40k words on Harbingers book 1, a query letter, a synopsis, and some art work and maps ready to try and give to agents or publishers at WorldCon. I’m not even sure if that’s how it works but I guess I’ll find out. My friend, who is doing the artwork for my books, and her husband will, also be at the convention along with another writer friend from work, so we should have some fun and have people to hang out with.

The book club my buddy and I who are going to WorldCon is going strong. We have our meeting for our 4th book here in a few weeks and we might assign a nominee or two as books to read. There’s lots of awesome things to read and I’m very much looking forward to it. That’s all for now, time to go revise some more and then watch a Hugo nominated episode of Black Mirror.