First, before moving on to other science fiction news & insights... the 2021 Nebula Awards are announced.
Best Novel: Network Effect, Martha Wells (Tor.com)
Best Novella: Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com)
Best Novelette: “Two Truths and a Lie”, Sarah Pinsker (Tor.com)
Best Short Story: “Open House on Haunted Hill”, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots)
The Andre Norton Nebula Award for middle grade & young adult fiction - A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher (Argyll)
Congratulations to all!
== Still (supposed to be) a realm of ideas! ==
Academics in Science Fiction literature! McFarland is one of the top publishers of erudite studies and tomes on the great, exploratory genre with the courage to ask "what-if things might be different?" Here's their latest catalogue of books on SF in its wide variety of forms. And yes, the titles have somewhat higher cover prices, so? Not per page or per idea! And especially my own item in their catalogue: VIVID TOMORROWS: Science Fiction and Hollywood.
Therein you'll get ideas and "huh!" moments so numerous they are pennies-per! Some will change how you view the genre, the films, the books that helped to make you who you are!
Honoring their release of all six refreshed uplift novels, Open Road's site publishes here the new introduction I wrote for the updated Startide Rising... offering insights into the whole Uplift Universe. My original Uplift Trilogy, has recently been re-released on Kindle.
The Martian Dispatches -- a story collection focuses narrowly upon the processes of developing and building the first settlement on Mars, including overcoming initial problems getting life started there in self-supporting ways.
Huh. I've seen Toho films that romanticize the super-battleship Yamato - e.g. turning it into a star cruiser saving the Earth - but this one seems... unusual. In The Great War of Archimedes, Admiral Yamamoto hires a young mathematician to show that the Yamato design makes no sense! Of course we know the effort fails. Yamato and Musashi are built... and calamitously prove futile. Though we also know Yamamoto remained supreme daimyo of the IJN. So what's the point? Not having seen the film... (here's the trailer)... I'd guess the implication is "Yamamoto would have won the war, if only Yamato had NOT been built!" A variation, indeed! Yet, still, a what-if that Yamamoto himself would surely reject, if he were here.
== Finally... about “cancel”... ==
One fellow reminded me how he defended me at a convention, where fools attacked me for 'having no black characters in The Postman."
Um? Do you ever (often!) wish you had been there in person to demand a CASH WAGER from an ignoramus?
"No black characters" in The Postman? Except that the ex-soldier Phil Bokuto, Gordon's crucial friend and hero, is all over the 2nd half of the book and saves the world. I mean sure, except for that. Oh, and Mrs. Horton... and...
Oh, but let's deal with this crap, here and now. My first protagonist of ANY kind, in my first-ever story/novel, Sundiver, written in 1977, was half African and half Native American.
And jet-black Emerson D'Anite in Startide Rising is also one of the heroes of Brightness Reef and Infinity's Shore. And then there are admiring stories told about Native American traditions in Sundiver and Startide.
And Robert Oneagle, the central heroic human in The Uplift War... And when were those written? Back when Ursula LeGuin was barely starting to switch from ortho male to female or 'other' leads? In fact, find any SF author, of any kind, who has a better record at 'otherness', so early - both in time and in their career - except of course for Chip Delaney. Maybe Brunner. Yeah, Alice Sheldon. All right, I can think of others. But Top-ten-percent-R-Us.
Except for all that, of course they're right... not.
And one of you reminded me of my Maori characters and scenes and portrayal of Gaia-worship and many types of eco-activism, in Earth...
...and gay/bi characters and numerous empowered "spectrum" neurodivergent folks in Existence... (with a glowing blurb from Temple Grandin)... and sympathy for folks with brain damage portrayed in seven different novels....
.... and the very concept of a future with chimp and dolphins sitting on our highest councils and contributing ultimate diversity to Earth civilization... and then there's Gillian Baskin... and you won't find anyone more active vs. the world oligarchic putsch...
A bit prickly and defensive, Brin?
Yeah. Okay. Sorry.
But the damned, lying-cowardly gossip never stops and pressure builds up. (Give a listen to the pertinent and way-cool hip hop song “Rumors” by Timex Social Club!) And always, always, always they backstab behind your back, never confronting you face-to face.
Let's be clear on one thing. Gossip is the most despicable evil that "good" people engage in, regularly, without imagining they are committing an evil act, and often drenched in the drug high of sanctimony.
Again, sorry. But no.