Hugo Winners at Chicon 7!
Congratulations to all the 2012 Hugo Award winners! You can find a complete list of the winners at the Hugo Awards website – http://www.thehugoawards.org/
The venue at Chicon 7 was completely packed, with people standing all along the sides and rear of the ballroom for the entire two & a quarter hour ceremony. Those of us in the room enjoyed a (mostly) entertaining and glitch-free evening. Unfortunately, this was not true for people watching the live video stream of the event – including those folks watching at Dragoncon. The very technology that allowed for worldwide streaming of the ceremony went wrong part-way through. During Neil Gaiman’s acceptance speech for the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, Ustream cut off the web feed for “copyright violations”. This was apparently caused by ‘bots noticing the video clips of the Best Dramatic Presentation nominees. Though these clips pretty clearly fit a fair use description, the Ustream channel was terminated and not reestablished.
It’s a sad commentary on the state of copyright and intellectual property when an organization trying to recognize media programs for excellence is shut down by overzealous technology claiming to “protect” copyright owners.
Several times at this convention I have been involved in discussions addressing the issue of technology outstripping our ability as a society to manage it. In the midst of the greatest Information Age humanity has ever known, information is in danger of actually becoming more constrained – simply for the sake of commerce. Despite the technological “democratization” of information, small numbers of powerful gatekeepers continue to dictate what we see and how we see it (don’t even get me started on HDCP).
I’m sure the Hugo streaming shutdown scenario can be avoided in the future by choosing a different (and probably more expensive) streaming provider. And I doubt that anyone suffered life-threatening injury because he or she was unable to watch the Hugo awards ceremony live. But this serves as one more example of how we raise barriers of cost and/or extra negotiation to engage in perfectly legal dissemination of information.
Saying “no” is easy. Letting powerful gatekeepers dictate terms to society is easy. Ceding control of policing the internet to draconian “zero tolerance” ‘bots is easy. I hope that someday society will recognize that easy is not always the right way to go. Surely there must be a few SF stories lurking somewhere in this mess?
I’m at the live Squeecast event at Chicon. Highly entertaining. Cat Valente has given an enthusiastic plug for the classic John Crowley book, Engine Summer. Jay Lake has told the audience about Rubber, the most bizarre film he’s seen (and that’s saying something).
Not attending Chicon 7? Don’t forget that you can watch the Hugo Award ceremony live from Chicago on Ustream at www.ustream.tv/channel/worldcon1. If you can’t handle the video bandwidth, there will also be live text coverage of the ceremony at www.TheHugoAwards.org.
Strange Horizons, an online SF & F magazine held a tea at Chicon 7 on Saturday. We talked with some of the editorial staff about the magazine.
Podcast (videocast): Play in new window
Mentioned at a panel on “Best New SF&F Authors of the 21st Century” at the Worldcon: China Mieville, Paolo Bacigalupi, M. Rickert, Peter Watts, Genevieve Valentine, Adam Roberts, Darryl Gregory, Cat Valente, Joe Hill, Nnedi Okorafor, & Aliette De Bodard.
Members of the Fast Forward team have arrived at Chicon. We hope to post a few pictures and updates from the convention, for the benefit of those of you who can’t attend.
The folks here at Fast Forward love it when noteworthy SF related events come to our hometown. So we’re very excited that SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) is holding their Nebula Awards Weekend in the Washington, DC region this month. It’s a weekend of panels, workshops, booksignings, and partying – and you don’t have to be a SFWA member to attend – memberships can be purchased by the general public. Many of the finest and most celebrated SF writers and other SF professionals will be in attendance. If you’re an aspiring writer this is a great opportunity – don’t miss it!
The Nebula Awards Weekend is happening May 17-20, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. For more information, go to the Nebula Awards section of the SFWA website at www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards.
We hope to see you there!
I will be traveling this coming week to Farpoint in Timonium, Maryland. This Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Super Hero and Media convention has been around since 1993. It offers a wide variety of programming and fun. It runs from 2/17/2012 to 2/19/2012.
As I will be an author guest at this convention (Hey, I did write a 2012 book, Coffee with Thunderbolts), this will be a new experience for me. I will be on 4 panels:
1.What to Do with a Finished Novel . I keep hearing the tune What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor. Anyone who has done NaNoWriMo knows that the 50,000 word first draft of one’s novel is a drunken creature that needs to be sobered up into something “respectable”.
2. Self-Publishing. Or as I would say: How I Got This Grey Hair!
3. Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCats Ho! Otherwise known as: Marianne Plays the Devil’s Advocate (I am more negative than positive toward the new series. Question is: Do I survive stoning?)
4. NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month. For myself, I would howl: Been There! Done That! Lost Mind (Again)!
Come on out for a great weekend in the wilds of Maryland. And if you see a puzzled, rookie self-published author wandering the corridors looking for her next panel, please don’t point her toward the exit.
This past weekend much beloved author Terry Pratchett was wrapping up the US tour for his latest book, Snuff. He had a sold-out speaking event at the National Press Club here in Washington, DC. He also came by the studio and gave Fast Forward an interview, which we hope to post on the website in the next week or so!
Then, on Saturday, Mr. Pratchett and his assistant, Rob Wilkins, stopped by Capclave (a local science fiction convention that Fast Forward team members are involved with). Author and editor Scott Edelman has posted his flipcam video of the event on Youtube.
There is also an audio only version of the talk on the Capclave web site.
Terry Pratchett at Capclave ©2011 Michael Nelson
All in all, a very busy weekend!
Looking forward to attending and seeing lots of friends at Capclave, the annual convention of the Washington Science Fiction Association, which starts on Friday just up the road in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Now entering its second decade, Capclave has evolved into a lovely, literature-centric con that always draws fun and interesting people.