Showing posts from January, 2016

The 2016 Hugo Awards: A Few Thoughts as Nominations Open

On Wednesday, the good folks at MidAmericon II announced the beginning of the nominating period for the 2016 Hugo awards, which will run until March 31st.  If you're like me, you've maybe been treasuring the period of relative peace and quiet since last year's Hugos were announced at the end of August, and are a little hesitant to launch yourself back into the conversation that surrounds these awards--which may, or may not, end up as fraught and starkly political as it was last year.  Let us, however, try to remember that nominating and voting for the Hugos can--and should--be fun, a way of discovering and discussing what was excellent and worth recognizing in last year's genre conversation.  To that end, here are a few points of order, and pointers, for those of you thinking of, or planning to, nominate in the Hugos. First, a note on eligibility.  You are eligible to nominate for the 2016 Hugo awards if you are An attending or supporting member of Sasquan, the 2

Gathered Round a Roaring Television, Part 2

It took ten days (all year!) but I'm finally done with the backlog of TV that I let build up over December while I was busy with other things.  And once again, all of these shows, good and bad, are infinitely more interesting than what the networks were cranking out in the fall.  Though it must be said that along with these miniseries and SyFy series, I also watched several network pilots--such as The Colony , Second Chance , and Angel From Hell --that were just as conventional as the now-cancelled dreck they're replacing, and once again not worth talking about.  Is it simply time to give up on the networks producing worthwhile, interesting TV?  Happily, even if that's the case, we still have plenty of other venues supplying us with new shows to discuss. Tripped - This cute but inessential Channel 4 series feels like a cross between Sliders and The Wrong Mans .  It follows the by-now extremely familiar template of two lifelong friends, one an unrepentant slacker happy t

Gathered Round a Roaring Television, Part 1

I didn't write anything about the fall TV season this (last) year, because frankly, it was too dismal and boring to write anything about, and anything I could have said would have just joined the chorus of thinkpieces lamenting the networks' inability to produce anything resembling worthwhile new shows.  But here we are in winter, with the network shows on break or just coming out of it, and suddenly we've been inundated with a whole gaggle of interesting, ambitious projects that remind us of what the medium is capable of.  I didn't love all of the works I'm about to review--in fact I genuinely disliked some of them--but at least they gave me something to write about, which is more than can be said for the raft of samey procedurals and unfunny comedies we were slogging through in the fall. And Then There Were None - My first reaction when I heard that the BBC was planning a new adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel was to wonder why anyone would bother.  I re