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Nebula Award Winners, Hugo Nominees Announced

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the get-your-read-on dept.

Entertainment 122

CBNobi writes "The 2002 Nebula Award winners have been announced this weekend. The winner for best novel was American Gods by Neil Gaiman (reviewed here at Slashdot), and the winner for best script was LotR:The Fellowship of the Ring. The nominees for the 2003 Hugo Awards have also been announced; Episodes of Enterprise, Firefly, and Buffy are all nominated for best short form dramatic presentation, and LotR and Spirited Away are among the nominees for best long form presentation."

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academy... (-1, Troll)

sewagemaster (466124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772323)

finally lotr's justified... unlike the stupid *ahem* academy people


Re:academy... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772336)

ode to sewagemaster

no dick, no dick.. you have no dick
grow a dick, grow a dick.. you big fat prick
with a beard so thick

Hugo 2003 - Short Form Dramatic (5, Interesting)

ZPO (465615) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772344)


Firefly - Cancelled (and it was just getting fun)

Enterprise - Might be cancelled soon

Buffy - Wrapping up the series? (don't watch it, but recall the wife mentioning it.)

Should it be seen as a sign of the times that the nominees are all either going or gone? Makes you wonder about the intelligence of the masses. Oh wait, we already know about the intelligence of the masses.

The problem with network TV shows. (5, Insightful)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772375)

Unfortunately, it also says way too much about how short-sighted TV executives are nowadays.

TV executives frequently do not like hour-long dramas due to the high cost of production per hour; they still (unfortunately for us TV viewers :( ) like reality shows because reality shows have relatively low cost of production per hour. Even with its exotic locales, the best-known reality show (Survivor) is still a bargain compared to shows like the now-cancelled Firefly, the soon-to-end Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and the potentially-cancelled Enterprise.

The days of a network letting a show find its audience are long over. You'll never see anything like how NBC allowed Hill Street Blues to eventually become a big hit again.

reality television (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772957)

As far as I can tell, people are getting sick and tired of "reality television". While reality shows may still be gaining viewers(I dunno, do you?), many, many people I know are sick to death of them and are turning away from television moreso than before.

I think this just goes to demonstrate your point even further, that networks are only thinking short-term these days.

Is there not a single competent businessman among the bunch? A competent businessman would think long-term instead of going after short-term gain.

What are the networks going to have left when the reality tv ratings drop off? Nothing.

Re:reality television (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773236)

They'll pass laws making it illegal to compete against them. After all, if people aren't watching them, there *must* be illegal competition causing it.

Re:reality television (1)

RickHunter (103108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773954)

The thing is, "competent businessmen" these days are defined as those that only think about the short term. After all, that's what gets them the big bonuses, and when things start going all wahoonie-shaped, all the decision-makers can bail out with their golden parachutes and leave everyone else to die. Sacrificing short-term profits, even a little, for long-term stability and growth and an even bigger payoff ten years down the road is seen as stupid, unprofitable, irresponsible, and professional suicide.

And what do we have to show for it? A domestic economy that's in shambles, that's what.

Re:reality television (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774629)

What are the networks going to have left when the reality tv ratings drop off? Nothing.

Ah, yes. Doom and gloom. It's a shame the production companies all went out of business and bulldozered those soundstages...

Oh, wait. They didn't. Hmm. Maybe... just maybe... if and when the pendulum swings back from reality television shot on location on video to filmed dramas shot on soundstages... just MAYBE they'll be ready.

Idiot. Fucking idiot.

stupid AC (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5775581)

if and when the pendulum swings back from reality television shot on location on video to filmed dramas shot on soundstages... just MAYBE they'll be ready.

Idiot, fucking idiot, you completely missed the fucking point! Dramas take YEARS to get large followings. If they were competent, they'd be supporting shows that had a chance of being really good, instead they go and cancel everything that isn't an instant cash infusion.

When the reality shit bombs, they will have nothing keeping them stable for years.

Silly AC, get a clue before you go flaimbaiting.

Re:stupid AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5776694)

Dramas take YEARS to get large followings.

Demonstrably false. Consider the ratings of the two most popular dramas on television right now, "ER" and "The West Wing." Those shows debuted in the top ten, and have been there ever since.

When the reality shit bombs, they will have nothing keeping them stable for years.

Except everything they've been showing all along.

Silly AC, get a clue before you go flaimbaiting.

How's this for flamebait: fuck you, you ignorant son of a whore.

Re:The problem with network TV shows. (2, Interesting)

iabervon (1971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773327)

They're also particularly down on shows that require a lot of special effects and sets every episode. Law & Order, for instance, is probably a lot cheaper, because it only needs an occasional stunt. The real problem is that they keep coming up with new shows to fill the timeslots and viewer segments vacated by shows they cancelled, meaning that sci-fi TV is full of shows you haven't gotten into yet and shows that are being cancelled. If the shows are trying not to be short or interchangable, it's not going to be good storytelling.

On the other hand, if they made a sci-fi reality show, I'd watch that. Perhaps a show like Firefly, except that they killed off a character each week, with the plot point that something really great was going to happen to any crew member who survived the season. Alternatively, "Survivor: B5" would be really amusing; you follow a set of random residents who have to avoid getting themselves killed by the disasters that are always happening on the station, and also have to avoid getting voted out an airlock, shipped back to their home planet, etc.; it would be based on interpersonal skills and dexterity, but with more exciting things they have to do.

Re:The problem with network TV shows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5773356)

Unfortunatly this wasn't enough to stop NBC from bringing back Hunter after a 10 year hiatus.

Vote for firefly! (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772708)

How do you vote anyway? :)

Re:Vote for firefly! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772905)

The Nebula Awards are selected by the writers themselves.

The Hugo Awards are awarded by members of that year's World Science Fiction Convention, which this year is Torcon 3 [torcon3.on.ca] in Toronto.

If you just want to vote without attending the convention, you can buy a supporting membership. It's rather pricey ($40 US), but you get some other perqs. The attending membership is $185 US.

I went to the Chicago Worldcon a few years back. It was a blast! Expensive, but fun.

Mod parent up (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774798)

Hey, this is interesting. Give the guy a cigar :)

Re:Hugo 2003 - Short Form Dramatic (2, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772923)

I'm using this category as a yardstick for how much to care about the Hugos in the future. I'm not demanding that Firefly win, as I don't watch Buffy and can't fairly compare the two. But Enterprise should lose.

A Night in Sickbay [firsttvdrama.com] and Carbon Creek [firsttvdrama.com] are absolutely atrocious and pretty bad, respectively. Neither is a shining example of drama.

Do read the links, and note that while there is some continuity criticism that you might be willing to ignore for the sake of a Hugo (though even that should count against them; why is it only Star Trek, of all the shows on TV, gets to ignore and even actively contradict continuity whenever it feels like it? it's in a league all its own), the criticism is mostly about the piss-poor dramatic structure of the episodes. (Admittedly Carbon Creek is the best the show had to offer, which isn't saying much; poke around some of the other critiques on that site and you'll see what I mean. He sold me pretty thoroughly on his opinions, and the only reason I'd watch Enterprise now is to see him deconstruct it.)

Re:Hugo 2003 - Short Form Dramatic (1)

lowmagnet (646428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773034)

Please read the rest of the website for examples of how much not better the guy who runs it is than B&B.

Re:Hugo 2003 - Short Form Dramatic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774846)

Enterprise & Buffy making it to the final 5 makes you wonder about the intelligence of the few. Buffy has lost it this year, and Enterprise never had it.

Where's Farscape? I know I nominated it.

Re:Hugo 2003 - Short Form Dramatic (2, Interesting)

defaulthtm (464486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774850)

Buffy is wrapping up but as a series probably has reached the end of its natural life. If you look at the season villains they have got larger and larger (by season 1: The Master - Uber Vamp; 2: Spike, Angel, Dru - Multiple uber vamps; 3: The Mayor - My personal fav big bad; 4: Adam - Frankenstein's demon; 5: Glory - a god; 6: Willow gone evil; 7: The first evil) to the point that it will be very difficult to top the current big bad. A spin off appears to be in the works. that may have SMG guest appearances.

Angel hasn't been renewed yet either. That is fairly disappointing.

Enterprise has been terrible since the get go. The suggestion that they weren't going to use technology to solve problems was a blatant lie and basic Star Trek races (Vulcans for example) ended up being written so badly it was astonishing.

Sup Sup Sup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772358)

Sup Niggas!!!

I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (-1, Troll)

Adam Rightmann (609216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772372)

I've always been a big science fiction fan, and when I heard the buzz about the English author Ian McLeod I though I would check out his work.

Well, I was appalled when I read Cosmonaut Keep. In case you haven't read this sophomoric Marxists drivel, I will give you a one paragraph summary.

Americans bad. Capitalism bad. Socialism good. Drugs good. High technology cool, but the best technology (computers and aerospace) is American. Don't ask us to reconcile that.

I'm glad to see the Nebula voters have voted for right-thinking, American-proud authors like Gaimain, and avoided socialist anti-American clap-trap like McLeod, it's almost enough to make me forgive them for awarding the commie-drug-perversion filled Gravity's Rainbow the best novel in 1974.

Re:I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (3, Interesting)

Colm Buckley (589428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772397)

That's an amusing troll; it's a little too reactionary to be convincing, however.

For what it's worth, China Miéville, who was nominated, is considerably further to the "left" than Ian McLeod; in fact Mr Miéville has stood for Parliament on behalf of a political party you would no doubt dub "sophomoric Marxist".

Not everyone subscribes to the last-man-standing-wins model of American capitalism.

Re:I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774642)

Not everyone subscribes to the last-man-standing-wins model of American capitalism.

True. Those who reject it are known as "idiots."

There are smarter people in the world than you. Once you realize this fact, I mean REALLY internalize it, life will start making a whole lot more sense to you.

Re:I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (1)

prbt (651156) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772452)

I hope this is a troll.

"Americans bad. Capitalism bad. Socialism good. Drugs good. High technology cool, but the best technology (computers and aerospace) is American. Don't ask us to reconcile that." - you seriously can't think of what sort of people might subscribe to these views?

"I'm glad to see the Nebula voters have voted for right-thinking, American-proud authors like Gaimain, and avoided socialist anti-American clap-trap like McLeod[.]" Sorry, have I missed something, do the Klan and NRA write sci-fi now?

Re:I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (4, Interesting)

j-b0y (449975) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772453)

Ian McLeod is Scottish, for a start. I know it seems like a subtle difference, but at least try and get it right.

Ian Mcleod is a socialist and has written some pretty intersting stuff about how the future might work if you do not accept the inevitability of near-future societies that are nation-state economies driven by Capitalism. He nails the US, because of its arch-Capitalist nature, and ironically tags the UN as behoven to the US.

I guess he got pretty fed up with seeing the future solely portrayed as a Captialist utopia, something which he disagrees with. It's nothing personal, just another point of view.

bah! (2, Insightful)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773009)

I put down Cosmonaut Keep. It was just ridiculously silly and blatantly attacking America. I myself strongly criticize America, my home, because it is deserving of a lot of criticism with freedoms being abridged recklessly by some. But that book was ridiculous, and McLeod's socialist ideas were... juvenile.

I should clarify (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773023)

I am not supporting the troll to which you replied, just giving you my opinion of Cosmonaut Keep.

Re:bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774658)

Anybody who whines about the "freedoms being abridged recklessly" and doesn't throw in an entire paragraph-- or at least a mention in passing-- about responsibility instantly gets branded an idiot in my book.

Re:I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (4, Insightful)

bsartist (550317) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772614)

I'm glad to see the Nebula voters have voted for right-thinking, American-proud authors like Gaimain

LOL! Neil Gaiman is British.

Re:I'm glad Ian McLeod didn't read anything (2, Informative)

etigidy (663402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772673)

Actually, Ken McLeod wrote Cosmonaut Keep. I haven't read it, but I imagine it can't be too different in political views from his other books like Stone Canal and The Cassini Division, both of which I didn't enjoy. Ian McLeod wrote other stuff, which I've never read.

Kiln Boring (0, Troll)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772389)

I finished Kiln People last week after a slow two weeks of slugging through it. Flat-out one of the most boring books I've ever read. Interresting ideas, but one boring book.

Newflash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772408)

You are all a bunch of fucking loser scifi geeks with no life. You consistantly confuse pop culture schlock as art. The rest of the world should get an award for not rounding you up and exterminating you.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772414)

Fucking slashbots

Re:Newflash (4, Insightful)

andy666 (666062) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772445)

no it's really just the opposite. people treat "art" as this holy thing that isn't supposed to be something enjoyable.

Re:Newflash (3, Interesting)

Michael Dorfman (324722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772479)

OK, maybe it's me, but I didn't find "American Gods" particularly enjoyable. In fact, I found it to be pretty lame. If that was the best Science Fiction novel of the year, I guess I have a better understanding of why I tend not to read much SF.

Re:Newflash (3, Insightful)

bsartist (550317) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772588)

I think it was actually a fairly slow year for SF. Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Years of Rice and Salt" got good reviews, but for me it dragged - I couldn't even finish it. Maybe I'll try again. David Brin's "Kiln People" was better, but it wasn't his best.

To be honest, I think it's been a slow decade for SF. Many of the Great Ones of the genre - from Asimov to Zelazny - are gone, and the younger generation seems to still be searching for its voice.

Re:Newflash (3, Interesting)

RickHunter (103108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772669)

And IMHO, its found it in Wil McCarthy. If you haven't read The Collapsium, do so now. Reasonably hard science fiction by someone who can actually write? Sign me up!

Seriously, there's a lot of good new science fiction and space opera authors popping up recently. Some good fantasy authors too. Most are still finding their way and struggling to stand out amidst the tide of mindless Tolkien clones and talentless hacks, but they are there. And then there's older space opera/sci-fi authors, like Bujold, that're still doing good work. I think the '90s was the slow decade, and what we're seeing now is a resurgance.

As for TV, give up on the American networks already. They haven't produced anything worthwhile since Next Generation and Babylon-5, and they're not going to anytime soon. Not while they treat the viewer as an inconvenient obstacle between them and their money and use legislation instead of innovation to protect their revenue. Turn to Japan for your sci-fi TV fix, and watch shows like Crest of the Stars (and Banner of the Stars, and the other soon-to-follow sequel series), Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Gundam, Macross, and the new Ghost in the Shell TV series.

(Anime sci-fi shows named off the top of my head. There's a couple dozen other great ones you can find if you look.)

Re:Newflash (2, Informative)

Tycho (11893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772982)

One relatively new author that I like is Alastair Reynolds. He is a scientist who works for the ESA currently and he is a reasonably good writer too. However, he is British and his books are generally released about a year earlier in the UK than in the US. His first two books "Revalation Space" and "Chasm City" are reasonably easy to find in the US. His third book "Redemption Ark" should be out in June in the US.

Re:Newflash (more anime) (1)

OoSync (444928) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772988)

Last night I just discovered fansubbed versions of _Last Exile_. Awesome visual style harkening to the WWI era of aircraft mixed with Star Wars pod racing. Just plain *Frikin' A*. Get it from Anime-Kraze [anime-kraze.net] as a Bit Torrent download.

Re:Newflash (more anime) (1)

RickHunter (103108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773273)

Been watching that, but I didn't mention it here. Its more steampunk or fantasy than science fiction so far. There are others that are borderline sci-fi, but they tend to be more "X in space". (Stellvia, for example, feels a lot like Azumanga in space.)

Re:Newflash (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772734)

Pretty slow, but there were some highlights, like David Weber/Baen coming out with War of Honor (the first book to _ever_ include a CD in the back which contains the entire series and lots more books).

There should be an award for "Best Publishing Innovation of the Year." :-)


New (sorta) Zelazny! (1)

edremy (36408) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774022)

Lord Demon. Just picked up the paperback this weekend- not sure if it's been out before. It's another duo with Jane Lindskold.

Pretty clearly a Zelanzy plot with Lindskold doing all of the writing, but it wasn't bad overall. (It helps that I like Chinese mythos stuff, even if this wasn't very Chinese.)

Let me also second Aliaster Renyolds as someone picking up the slack: Revelation Space and Chasm City aren't bad at all.

Umm where's Alias? Whatever. (2, Insightful)

Kibo (256105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772409)

I guess the Joss Whedon, Rick Berman & Brannon Braga mutual admiration society didn't leave any room for something watchable.

Re:Umm where's Alias? Whatever. (2, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772985)

I'd have a hard time calling Alias sci-fi. The only sci-fi aspects (rather then fairly realistic and current science) are the Rambaldi storylines, and given what we've seen so far, I'm more inclined to call that fantasy then sci-fi.

It's a hard call because that storyline is so small and not-well exposited (to keep it mysterious) that you can't get a "feel" for it. I call it fantasy because right now the artifacts are basically working like magic, returning life to long-dead things and so on.

I admit that my current #1 theory to explain Rambaldi is that he is indeed a space alien who couldn't or wouldn't go home, but that's my theory, not official show theory. ;-)

Re:Umm where's Alias? Whatever. (1)

Kibo (256105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776089)

They are technology so advanced that it appeares to be magic, and that's not scifi? Seems like they do a hell of a job selling it.

Umm. (1)

lowmagnet (646428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773378)

Alias isn't sci-fi/fantasy?


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772418)

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*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
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t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
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e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774779)

Ahhh... welcome back old friend. We've missed you.

fascinating read (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772420)

One summer's day in the mid-1860's, a young French boy named Joseph Pujol
had a frightening experience at the seashore. Swimming out alone, he held
his breath and dove underwater. Suddenly an icy cold feeling penetrated his
gut. Frightened, he ran ashore, but then received a second shock when he
noticed seawater streaming from his anus. The experience so disturbed the
lad that his mother took him to a doctor to allay his fears. The doctor

The boy didn't know it at the time, but this unsettling rectal experience
at the beach not only indicated no illness, but it also foretold of a gift
that would later make him the toast of Paris and one of the most popular
and successful performers of his generation.

Joseph Pujol was born in Marseilles on June 1, 1857 to Francois Pujol and
Rose Demaury, a respected stonemason/sculptor and his wife, both of whom
had emigrated from Catalan. Young Joseph went to school until the age of
13, whereupon he apprenticed himself to a baker. Several years later, he
served in the French army.

While in the army, he mentioned his childhood sea-bathing experience to his
buddies. They immediately wanted to know if he could do it again, so on a
day's leave soon afterward he went out to the shore to swim and experiment.
He successfully reenacted the hydraulics of his childhood experience there
and even discovered that by contracting his abdomen muscles, he could
intentionally take up as much water as he liked and eject it in a powerful
stream. Demonstrating this ability back at the barracks later provided the
soldiers with no end of amusement, and soon Pujol started to practice with
air instead of water, giving him the ability to produce a variety of
sounds. This new development provided even more enjoyment for his buddies.
It was then and there, in the army, that Pujol invented a nickname for
himself that would later become a stage name synonymous throughout Europe
with helpless, hysterical laughter: "Le Petomane" (translation: "The

After his stint in the army, Pujol returned to Marseille and to a bakeshop
his father set him up in, on a street that, today, proudly bears the name
"rue Pujol." At the age of 26 he married Elizabeth Henriette Oliver, the
20-year-old daughter of a local butcher. Pujol enjoyed performing, so in
the evenings he entertained at local music halls by singing, doing comedy
routines, and even playing his trombone backstage between numbers. He
continued amusing his friends privately with his "other" wind instrument,
but only at their suggestion and urging did he decide to turn this parlor
trick into a full-fledged act for public audiences.

Pujol worked up a Le Petomane routine, and with some friends he rented a
space in Marseille to perform it in. They promoted the show heavily
themselves through posters and handouts, but word-of-mouth soon took over
and they packed the house every night. Fin de siecle European audiences,
deeply repressed but newly prosperous and trying to be modern"-- the same
people Freud observed (Freud was one year older than Pujol)-- must have
found a man on stage building an entire act out of mock farting and other
forms of anal play considerably more shockingly funny than we would today.
Pujol's was a good act by any era's standards, but back then his scatology
hit a raw nerve, and hit it hard, at an especially vulnerable time. Like
Alfred Jarry, whose epoch-makingly scatological Ubu Roi actually post-dates
Pujol's Paris debut by several years, Pujol was a French Revolutionary of
the modern theater. Jarry gets the credit today because he was a "serious
playwright" and not a lowbrow cabaret performer, but Pujol clearly laid
some of the groundwork.

Word-of-mouth spread reports of the quality and uniqueness of Pujol's new
show, and soon people from all over Marseille were coming to see it.

After the hometown success, Pujol's friends urged him to take the act to
Paris. Pujol hoped to, but cautiously decided to play several other
provincial cities first to refine the act and test the breadth of its
appeal before taking it to the capital. He performed in Toulon, Bordeaux,
and Clermont-Ferrand with great success, and in 1892 was finally ready to
try his act at Paris's Moulin Rouge. It was then that Pujol reputedly
uttered a line oft-repeated in cabaret lore; looking up at the windmill
sails of the landmark Moulin Rouge ("Red Mill") building, he exclaimed,
"The sails of the Moulin Rouge-- what a marvelous fan for my act!"

In getting booked at the Moulin Rouge, Pujol wasted no time. He walked in
and demanded to see the director with such confidence that the secretary
showed him in immediately. He then told the director, a man named either
Zidler or Oller depending on whose account you follow (I'll use "Oller"),
"I am Le Petomane, and I want an engagement in your establishment." He said
that he was a phenomenon and that his gift would be the talk of Paris. When
Oller asked for an explanation, he calmly replied, "You see, sir, my anus
is of such elasticity that I can open and shut it at will. . . . I can
absorb any quantity of liquid I may be given. . .[and] I can expel an
almost infinite quantity of odorless gas." After this, he gave Oller a
quick demonstration.

Oller put Pujol on stage that very night.

Pujol dressed formally for his act, wearing a coat, red breeches, white
stockings, gloves, and patent leather shoes-- a stuffy, old-fashioned
outfit that, coupled with his unrelentingly deadpan delivery, must have set
up an abrasive comedic dissonance against the actual content of his
performance. To begin his act he introduced himself and explained that he
was about to demonstrate the art of "petomanie." He further explained that
he could break wind at will, but assured his audience not to worry because
his parents had "ruined themselves" in scenting his rectum.

Then Le Petomane performed some imitations, using the simple, honest format
of announcing and then demonstrating. He displayed his wide sonic range
with tenor, baritone, and bass fart sounds. He imitated the farts of a
little girl, a mother-in-law, a bride on her wedding night (tiny), the same
bride the day after (loud), and a mason (dry-- "no cement"). He imitated
thunder, cannons ("Gunners stand by your guns! Ready-- fire!!"), and even
the sound of a dressmaker tearing two yards of calico (a full 10-second
rip). After the imitations, Le Petomane popped backstage to put one end of
a yard-long rubber tube into his anus. He returned and smoked a cigarette
from this tube, after which he used it to play a couple of tunes on a song
flute. For his finale he removed the rubber tube, blew out some of the
gas-jet footlights from a safe distance away, and then led the audience in
a rousing sing- along.

This first night, a few tightly-corseted women in the audience literally
fainted from laughing so hard. Oller immediately gave Pujol a contract to
perform at the Moulin Rouge, elsewhere in France, and abroad. Turning
audience-fainting into a great gimmick, Oller later conspicuously stationed
white-uniformed nurses in the hall at each Le Petomane show and instructed
them to carry out any audience members rendered particularly helpless by
the hilarity. Meanwhile, to quash any rumors that his performance was
faked, Pujol occasionally gave private men-only performances clad in a
bathing suit with a large hole in the seat rather than his concealing
regular costume.

It was after one of these private performances that a distinguished-
looking man put a 20 franc gold coin in the collection plate. When Pujol
questioned him, he turned out to be the King of Belgium, who had come
incognito just to see his act.

After signing up with the Moulin Rouge in 1892, Pujol moved his growing
family (starting in 1885, Pujol and his wife had a child every two years
for eighteen years) into a chalet staffed by servants who soon became
family friends. As he predicted, he became the talk of Paris, and admirers
saluted him affectionately as he rode by in his carriage. Paris doctors
examined him and published an article in La Semaine Medicale that described
his health but offered no new explanation for his ability. It did however
record that he could rectally project a jet of water 4 to 5 yards. Box
office receipts alone attest to Le Petomane's popularity. One Sunday the
Moulin Rouge took in 20,000 francs for a Le Petomane performance, an amount
which dwarfs the 8000 francs typically grossed by Sarah Bernhardt at the
peak of her career there.

But another thing happened in 1892 that provoked a series of battles
between Pujol and Moulin Rouge management, the litigious nature of which
makes it sound more like 1992. Pujol visited a friend of his who sold
gingerbread, and to attract customers to his friend's stall, he did some
Petomane tricks right there in the marketplace. Word of this "unauthorized
performance" got back to Oller, who took it up with Pujol and threatened to
sue. Over the next couple of years, Pujol, who dreamed of opening up his
own travelling theater, had more rows with Oller. In 1894, Oller brought
suit against Pujol over the gingerbread stall incident and won. Pujol was
fined 3000 Francs. The next year, Pujol left the Moulin Rouge to start his
own venture, the Theatre Pompadour. Soon after Pujol left, the Moulin Rouge
put up a new act, billed as a "Woman Petomane" (they concealed a bellows
under her skirt). Pujol then brought a lawsuit against the Moulin Rouge for
plagiarizing his idea. At about the same time, however, a newspaper panned
the "Woman Petomane" act, and the actress, Angele Thiebeau, sued the paper
for libel. The judgement against Thiebeau was so harshly worded and
humilating that Pujol, satisfied at the harm done to the Moulin Rouge's
reputation, withdrew his own lawsuit against them.

Pujol's new Theatre Pompadour included mime and magic and other acts
performed by Pujol's family and performer friends. He changed his own act
into a woodland tale told in doggerel punctuated at the end of each couplet
by Le Petomane sound effects and imitations of the animal and bird
characters in the story. Paris audiences liked the winning charm of this
home-grown variety show and still yucked it up at Pujol's fart noises, so
the Theater Pompadour prospered for many years.

Le Petomane continued to be an enormous draw in his new venue until around
1900, when the interest of the show-going public began to wane. The
Pompadour continued to do pretty well, however, until World War I, when
four of Pujol's sons went off to fight and the theater had to close down.
One son was taken prisoner and two of the others became invalids, and Pujol
was so shattered that after the war he had no interest in returning to his
performing career. The family moved back to Marseille and Pujol ran
bakeries with his sons and unmarried daughters. In 1922, he and his family
moved to Toulon and he set up a biscuit factory which he gave to his
children to manage. He lived the rest of his life there, surrounded by his
many dearly loved children and grandchildren. His wife died in 1930 and he
died in 1945. One medical school offered the family 25,000 francs to be
allowed to examine his body, but out of respect, reverence and love for
this warm, funny, and caring man, not one of his children agreed to let

p00 (-1)

cmdr_shithead (527909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772421)


Gah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772438)

That there are two substandard Enterprise episodes on the Hugo nomination list is proof enough that the folks making the nominations are totally insane. I mean, come on "A Night in Sickbay" is widely considered one of the worst Star Trek episodes ever committed to film.

ANISB hilarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772768)

Come on. How could an episode revolving entirely around the erotic dreams of the Captain about his super-hot Vulcan first officer NOT win a Hugo?

American Gods (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772474)

Oh man, this was an awesome book. It actually got passed around in my group of friends... one guy who doesn't read a whole lot really loved it. It's weird, that'd never happened before. It really is a great book.

Re:American Gods (1)

asdfx (446164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774920)

I have to disagree. I found the book to be just 'ok'. It had some interesting ideas, but the main character was completely unintriguing (although, some of the other characters were more interesting). His name was 'Shadow', for Darwin's sake. The battle at the end was short and left much to be desired. I gave it to a friend to read as he found the topic interesting the way I had. He was also less than impressed. Doom's Day Book was awesome Sci-Fi and it won the Hugo and Nebula awards. I wouldn't put Gods in the same class as Doom's Day, not really close.

Long form presentation (3, Funny)

bsartist (550317) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772599)

At 3+ hours, The Fellowship of the Ring gives new meaning to the term "long form presentation." ;-)

Charles Stross (3, Informative)

smugfunt (8972) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772771)

Nominations for the Best Novelette Category
(377 people submitted nominations for 149 novelettes)

"Halo" by Charles Stross (Asimov's 6/02)

Go Charlie! [antipope.org]
Apart from writing great science fiction Charlie writes the Linux column in the UK's Computer Shopper magazine.

is it me... (1)

sigep_ohio (115364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772772)

or do these sci-fi and fantasy awards seem like people in these sectors of entertainment simply jerking each other off, because the long standing awards groups don't give them the recognition they feel they deserve.

Don't get me wrong, i love sci-fi and fantasy. But some of the shows up for awards in the hugos, don't deserve any type of nomination or recognition. As for the nebula awards, I don't get to read much(I am too lazy, and I grew up in america so I don't know how to read), but shouldn't critical and/or monetary success be enough. I mean if people buy your book or a critic whose opinion you value says it is good, do you really need an official award or nomination saying it is a good piece of writing?

Re:is it me... (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773458)

Do you really need official awards saying that an actor or movie is good?.
Hey, with a book it makes more sense. you need a lot more time to read a book than to watch a movie. If a movie sucks, you lost 2 hours. if you try to finish a novel for 3 weeks only to find out it doest get better, well then you lost a lot more time....

So you want some kind of review/award system to see the gems of the genere, but if "conventional" media either ignores or geekifies all the stuff, you need special awards.
HEy, it only the nebular and the hugo.
If you really wanna see people jerking off each other, watch the next emmy award.

Re:is it me... (1)

sigep_ohio (115364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773723)

In a way, I was saying the the whole awards process is flawed(not that I have a better solution though). Merely, that unless we award everyone, there is always someone who complains. but who wants that kind of a situation, it would be like first grade art class. I think we are grown up enough to accept the fact that some peoples art is better than others.

As for genre descrimination, I think that would be taken care of somewhat if awards were done in a similar fashion to dog shows. each genre as its awards(with only people familiar with or working in the genre voting), then the winners from each genre could be stacked up against each other(everyone would vote here) for a 'Best In Show' style finish. it might take longer, and it certainly isn't perfect but it is a start.

As for books, like I said I don't read much. I do understand that books are a heavy time investment and that you don't want to read a crap novel as much as you watch crap movies(and man there are a lot). But isn't that what book clubs and critics(those you trust) are for? Like I said before, no system is perfect though.

The emmys are one big jerk-off session. The oscars are getting there. Who ever heard of giving someone an award because they got shafted the last time, because the previous winner was shafted the time before that? I mean wtf? Atleast the Hugo and nebular seem to award who deserves it this year, not someone who should have one it for previous work. Those awards are called Lifetime Achievement awards, and they are much nicer(IMO) than a single performance award.

American Gods - Highly Overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772818)

IMO, the only reason that American Gods has any popularity is because of Slashdot. (I myself read it because of the glowing review it got here.) But I think it has to be the most overrated book I have ever had the displeasure to read. I found it mind-numbingly boring for vast sections of the book and whenever the story did manage to veer into interesting territory, Gaiman skillfully managed to yank it back into mind-numbing territory in quick order.

Glad to see it didn't make the Hugo Award list.

Re:American Gods - Highly Overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5772862)

IMO, the only reason that American Gods has any popularity is because of Slashdot. (I myself read it because of the glowing review it got here.) But I think it has to be the most overrated book I have ever had the displeasure to read. I found it mind-numbingly boring for vast sections of the book and whenever the story did manage to veer into interesting territory, Gaiman skillfully managed to yank it back into mind-numbing territory in quick order.

I couldn't agree more. How Gaiman managed to take a great story idea and make it a chore to read is beyond me. Did no other novels come out last year that were more worthy of the Hugo than this? I fear for the state of the genre.

Re:American Gods - Highly Overrated (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5773303)

But the reason that American Gods didn't make the Hugo Award nominees list this year is because it won the Hugo Award last year. It also won the Bram Stoker award from the Horror Writers Association.

I thought it was a brilliant book that demanded a lot and gave a lot back. Also Ghodammned funny.

Re:American Gods - Highly Overrated (1)

dancomfort (44913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773396)

Please moderate parent up. Thanks!

Re:American Gods - Highly Overrated (1)

zhevek (147623) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774999)

I really love The Sandman comics, but Gaiman has disappointed me with both books I've read by him: American Gods and Neverwhere. Both were above average reads, but nothing spectacular. His best book is Good Omens, but he co-authored that with Terry Pratchett. However, it is one of the funniest books I have ever read (right up there with the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books).

Farscape and Others Forgotten (3, Insightful)

derrickh (157646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5772928)

Enterprise gets 2 nominations and Whedon gets 3?
How about dumping the Trek spinoffs and put a couple of episodes of Farscape in. I'll put 'Prayer' up agaist 'Night in SickBay' any day of the week. And 'Carbon Creek' pales up against 'Kansas'.

Also, this shows you how important mindshare is. By many peoples account, Firefly was a show with potential, but it wasn't really good yet. But Whedon's name on it made people believe that it has to be great and deserves an award.

Solaris was easily the most 'sci-fi' movie of the year but Spiderman gets a nod instead?


Re:Farscape and Others Forgotten (4, Interesting)

Khomar (529552) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773557)

Actually, Firefly was already quite good in its first season. The acting and writing was very good, and the crew really had excellent chemistry. It is true that the show did not really have a strong plot (it was just starting to get into the main story), but the characters were already well defined and joy to watch. There was a good amount of mystery that definitely added to the enjoyment. Unfortunately, we will never get to see where they were going.

I have over the years watched less and less television due to the poor quality of the nearly every show until Firefly came along. I did not watch it because of Whedon. I had very little experience with any of his shows, and being somewhat anit-vampires, his name was actually more of a detriment in my mind (misguided or not). I watched the show because I was hoping to find a good sci-fi show that I could really get into, and I did. In my mind, the quality of the show had little to do with names but rather the care put into the dialog, the attention to detail (no sound in space), and the incredible acting and chemistry (especially for a first season). Its really too bad that Firefly is gone for good.

Re:Farscape and Others Forgotten (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776380)

In my mind, the quality of the show had little to do with names but rather the care put into the dialog, the attention to detail (no sound in space)
That's Whedon in a nutshell: fantastic dialog and attention to detail.

Re:Farscape and Others Forgotten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774862)

I nominated 4 eps of Farscape, and left my 5th slot blank.

Re:Farscape and Others Forgotten (1)

Mark Atwood (19301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776579)

If that's how you feel, why didn't you nominate them. Nominations and votes are not done by some secret cabal. Nominations are from all of the members/attendees of last year's and this year's WorldCon (2002 ConJose in San Jose, and 2003 TorCon in Toronto), and the vote is by members/attendees of this year's WorldCon.

If you don't join and vote, you have zero right to bitch about it.

You don't even have to buy a full membership and fly to those cities, you can just buy a simple voting membership.

I feel really old :-( (4, Interesting)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773013)

I grew up reading Niven, Blish, Asimov, Silverberg Vance and others. Its kinda hard for me to start reading some of the new masters, not because I wouldn't like them, but maybe because I'm too lazy to explore new books (yeah, I know that's bad).

But my dilemma is this, I've read all Sci-Fi/Fantasy from Asimov, Niven, Vance, but have not yet finished all the works of the old masters.

Can any younger (or at least more flexible) Slashdot reader suggest a few authors that they've read and liked? I don't want to get into serials right now, perhaps something that is sort of standalone would be better as an introduction to a new author, I think.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

Tar-Palantir (590548) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773076)

Have you read any Orson Scott Card? He writes in various genres, but he has some excellent science fiction (particularly Ender's Game and Pastwatch)

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

Michael Crutcher (631990) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773575)

The whole Ender's game series is awesome. Its perfect for introducing people to science fiction. The ideas that the books present get progressively deeper so that even non sci-fi fans can find themeselves enjoying some pretty geeky stuff.

Speaker for the dead (the second in the Enders series) is my favorite. It starts slow, methodically laying out the backstory, but crescendos into a very satisfying ending. I think Card's discussion of a network that could be considered an intelligent "alien" lifeform is great. Makes you wonder if the internet will at some time in the future become "self aware"

CleverSig mySig = null;

Re:I feel really old :-( (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5773113)

I sympathize - I used to read tons of SF, but over the past decade or so haven't kept up. I want to get back into it, and my plan of action is simple - you might want to consider a similar approach. First, get the list of Hugo and Nebula and World Fantasy Award winners for the past 10 years. Read everything that's on both lists, then start in on stuff that makes one list. Then start following up on other works by authors who appeal to you. And start looking in on nominees for the awards who didn't win. Oh, and winners of the John W. Campbell award for best new writer.

And once you're done with the awards, check out the "Year's Best" compilations.

Re:I feel really old :-( (2, Informative)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773248)

The "and others" leaves a lot of room but I'll try.

David Drake - Great Military SF.

Jerry Pournelle - But I'm sure he is one of the "others".

John Ringro - I just started on some of his stuff and he is *good*.

Neal Stephenson - Great just plain great.

David Brin, Greg Bear,

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773280)

Charles Stross. (Figure out what he's saying. Take him seriously.)
Robert Forward. (Classic hard SF with new technology.)

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

idfrsr (560314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773410)

Neal Stephenson - great what I have read so far.

Orson Scott Card - some of the more interesting books I have read (pastwatch, ender's game, homecoming series)

Iain (M.) Banks - Banks is in my opinion one of the most underated writers of the day. With (sci-fi) or without (reg. fiction) the 'M.' his books are very good. Particulaly Excession, Player of Games, and The Crow Road, and The Wasp Factory.

Re:I feel really old :-( (2, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773438)

I'm also an old-school sci-fi reader, but there are a lot of relatively new authors that have very good books.

I'm not sure what you call old scifi. I put in that category authors not because I think their stories looks like watching 2001, but because I grew knowing them so I don't remember when I first read something from them. In that category I put maybe modern writers like Greg Bear, Samuel Delany, Daniel Keyes, John Brunner or Alfred Bester, and all of them have good books.

For a list of what I have in my bookshelf from not "old" writers and I think that are pretty good, I should say:

  • Orson Scott Card: is a good one, and I must add to his good books Treason. I don't think that the rest of the Ender serie is as good as the first book, but anyway is a good reading.
  • Iain Banks: I read from him part of the Culture series, and is very good.
  • Julian May: The saga in the pliocene is pretty good.
  • Dan Simmons: I'm not read a log from him, but Hyperion is between my preferred books books.
  • John Varley: you must read "the persistence of vision" or whatever is called in english :-)
  • Terry Pratchett: Is not exactly sci-fi, not exactly fantasy, not exactly humor, but is a good mix of all of this.
  • Gregory Benford: have a good serie on the galactic centre, not sure about other books from he.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

asylum (147434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773441)

Although I'm only in my 20s, I read all of the sci-fi classics in high school, and then sort-of dropped the genre until recently. Some authors with which I have recently connected:

Neil Gaman - More fantasy than sci-fi, but intelligent and very entertaining. Start with "Stardust". It's a quick read, and even my wife enjoyed it

Bruce Sterling - He's not exactly new, but definitely more recent than Asimov and Niven. "Schismatrix" is a impressive and original piece of sci-fi.

Neil Stephenson - Stephenson has become my favorite contemporary author. His books are massive, but are so entertaining that I literally can't put them down. All of his novels are incredible, but I would recommend you start with "Snow Crash"

My take on Stephenson's work (2, Informative)

JimmytheGeek (180805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774567)

One caveat with Stephenson - "Big U" is an interesting attempt to satarize a behemoth of a university, probably his first book. He hadn't developed his amazing chops yet. I worship the man, but I think he'd agree this is not worth the time.

Zodiac was pretty good. Strong narrative, some good characters. You can see the emergence of some geek-friendly themes. It lacks the absolute truckloads of storytelling talent he lavishes on subsequent books, but for many writers this would be their best book ever.

Snow Crash was AMAZING. Has the aforementioned truckloads. Very funny, surprising consistency all the way through. Nothing sacrificed for a laugh, but many of them fit. And a fine backdrop of whimsical neurolinguistic mysticism driving it. Great characters. Absolutely great. Each is hip - or wants to be - in a different way. It's male dominated, but there is a very strong female character that feels real, like the author has actually met a female in person. Even minor characters are fully fleshed out in a few deft strokes.

Diamond Age - AMAZING Very good at pulling heartstrings, fascinating look at nanotach. More of a "realistic" feel than Snow Crash. (Neither good nor bad in itself, but some readers might find S.C. too enjoyable/easy)

Cryptonomicon - awesome. Staggering. (Especially if you have to carry it a long way) This is a more complex narrative, with two sets of characters in two time periods. Amazingly, they fit together and not just at a tangent point. It is rich with historical insight, and it has tons of stuff for those who get a hard-on for computer security.

On a side note - I may have spotted him at Norwescon this weekend. Not really sure. I happened to be raving about him at the time and may have invoked him.

Re:I feel really old :-( (4, Informative)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773812)

To my amazement, no-one has mentioned Vernor Vinge yet. His last two novels, _A Fire Upon The Deep_ and _A Deepness In The Sky_ are absolutely superb. They both won both Hugo and Nebula, iirc.

Another author I like is Greg Egan. Try _Diaspora_ and/or _Permutation City_. His ideas are way out there, but always very interesting.

Re:I feel really old :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774006)

Yeah, VV kicks ass. Also try The Peace War and Marooned in Realtime, which I haven't read but am desperately searching for.

Btw, FUtD and DitS only won the Hugo both years, not the Nebulas.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

Tiny Elvis (171954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774937)

Another vote for Vernor Vinge here. Across Realtime is a great book, one of my all time favorites.

Re:I feel really old :-( (2, Informative)

IvyMike (178408) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773885)

First, you should check out the Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List [geocities.com] , which does contain many of the classics you've read, but also has a lot of newer authors you haven't read. It also usually has a number of classics from authors such as Lem and Strugatsky that you may not know.

I agree with most of the suggestions given in this thread so far. I'd also suggest looking into: "Diaspora", Greg Egan; "A Fire Upon The Deep", Vernor Vinge; The Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

RickHunter (103108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774141)

Give Wil McCarthy's The Collapsium a try. It reads very much like Niven and Asimov at their best. You might also like some of David Weber's stand-alone books (Path of the Fury, The Apocalypse Troll). Greg Bear might interest you, though one must be careful - some of his books are great, while others are absolutely terrible. I found Moving Mars to be one of the best, having both interesting ideas and good writing. You might also like Timothy Zahn's Manta's Gift or Angelmass - again, they have a similar feel to Asimov and Niven.

Greg Bear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5774820)

RickHunter is right on Bear. Be Careful.

Moving Mars is great. Eon and Forge of God were great, but feel dated now. Damn cold war ending. Forge of God is still worth reading, its one of my all time favorites. Avoid Anvil of Stars at all costs. Dinosaur Summer was weak too. Blood Music is a cool concept but the story never quite gelled.
Same for Darwin's Radio. Im missing a few that I have read plus there are many more. It doesnt sound like a very positive review, but honestly, I really like reading him stuff.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774679)

Unfortunately most of the 'new masters' can't hold a candle to the old ones. I keep hunting for folks who can do the job, but they're few and far between with miles of dreck to trudge through from one distant shining light to another.

Remember, this is the age where excruciatingly bad D&D novels are popular and are considered to be 'fantasy' instead of 'product placement ads'. With a few exceptions (George R. R. Martin comes to mind) the 'oldies but goodies' are pretty much still the best the market has to offer.


Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

defaulthtm (464486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774932)

I am also an old school sf reader and there are only a few writers that I look forward to publications from at this point.

1. Orson Scott Card - I have to plan on not sleeping when I purchase one of his books, I just read them until they are done to the exclusion of all else.

2. Neil Gaiman - American Gods is well worth the time.

3. Tim Powers - nearly always a new story

4. Tonya Huff - mental junk-food but the good kind :-)

5. Laurell K. Hamilton - Ann Rice with what is usually a different story every book instead of publishing the same story with different names.

Really I have found that in large part that the stories that are actually new have been few and far between. I wish Harlen Ellison was still being creative and someone could fill the shoes of Phil Dick but have found myself falling back on classic mystery (Rex Stout) and humor (Wodehouse) but those tend to be somewhat repetitive as well. At least the characters are well written.

Re:I feel really old :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5775483)

Robert Sawyer is doing a lot of interesting writing these days. I enjoyed his dinosaur-world series ("Far-Seer", "Foreigner", and "Fossil-Hunter") quite a bit--and each can stand on its own--but would also strongly recommend "End of an Era".

I'd also check out the sf anthologies that Orson Scott Card edited: "Future on Fire" and "Future on Ice". I like anthologies as a way of finding new authors without having to get through an entire book.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776041)

Its kinda hard for me to start reading some of the new masters, not because I wouldn't like them, but maybe because I'm too lazy to explore new books (yeah, I know that's bad).

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. One of the best ways to discover new, good authors is to check out awards lists and award nominees. I've been reading SF since the late sixties, and most of my favorite new authors I've discovered in the last quarter century or so have come off of award nominee lists. Of course, I probably miss a few good ones this way, but I have discovered so many good authors that I really don't feel deprived.

A good place to start might be Locus Mag's Online list of SF Awards [locusmag.com] . If you can't find some interesting stuff to check out from browsing that, you're beyond lazy. :)

Just as a ferexample: if a book wins both the Hugo (award from fans) and the Nebula (award from writers), chances are pretty high that it's a pretty durn good book. Have you read everything on this list [locusmag.com] ? (The only one on that list that didn't impress me is "Dreamsnake".)

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

Katharine (303681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776917)

A few more suggestions, in addition to the excellent ones already put forth:

David Weber, the "Honor Harrington" series. Excellent military s-f, do not miss it.

Sherri Tepper ("Gate to Women's Country" is quite apropos right now, and I really liked "Fresco." But these may be too feminist for some)

C.S. Friedman--brilliant! Especially "This Alien Shore."

Elizabeth Moon, "Deed of Paksenarrion" is very good, but long (and you can hear the dice rolling in the background from time to time in book one), and the s-f stories about Herris Serrano of the space navy are excellent (the trilogy that starts with "Hunting Party is a fine choice for young women in particular, kind of like the McCaffrey "Pern" books but should be entertaining for everyone). For those who are leery of reading books with a military theme written by a woman, please note that Ms. Moon is a former Marine.

Lois McMaster Bujold. Great fun, even my 70 year old retired scientist father enjoys her books. Reminds me a little of Heinlein before he got really weird. "Cordelia's Honor" is a good place to start.

John Barnes, his characters also remind me of Heinlein.

Re:I feel really old :-( (1)

Katharine (303681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776929)

I almost forgot: "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. Great fun!

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5773736)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Buffy is like Jar-Jar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5773783)

...so damn stupid you can't understand why would anyone watch it.

Re:Buffy is like Jar-Jar... (1)

Okonomiyaki (662220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776215)

You're absolutely right. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a terrible movie.

hugo nomination (3, Interesting)

kissmachine (667478) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773823)

ha! hey there -- so my husband and pals read slashdot regularly and one of his buddies messaged me in SILC to tell me about this post. all you people who hasn't read SF since the old greats should read my book (it's a finalist for best related book). it's called better to have loved: the life of judith merril. she was my grandmother, known as the little mother of science fiction. more info [kissmachine.org]

FYI: SF's Trade Paper (4, Informative)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5773896)

To follow the Nebula race or pretty much anything about the SF or Fantasy trade, you just can't beat LocusMag [locusmag.com] , the online version of Locus. Some reviews (the print version is known for the most exhaustive reviews of SF - anything printed anywhere gets at least a mention), but the big emphasis is on fandom, awards [locusmag.com] (not just the Hugos & Nebulas), opening and closing of new markets, and ongoing trends (check out this piece [locusmag.com] on how SARS, war, and economic changes are turning our world into one that SF readers will find familiar).

It also has a disturbingly complete necrology [locusmag.com] of recently deceased members of the SF community. It seems like every other headline is "So & so dies," but that's to be expected with all the graying pulp era artists, writers, and fans.

lotr or spirited away... (1)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5774631)

How do you chose with such good movies? They're both good. I think if it were possible they should both win prizes, because both were excellent pieces of work.

And Nemesis isn't up for one. How strange. (ha.)

Re:lotr or spirited away... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5775174)

"...And Nemesis isn't up for one. How strange. (ha.)"

Couldn't help but overhear you there. The "N" in Nemesis is silent.

Cancel Enterprise -- STOP THE HORROR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5775229)

As has already been mentioned, the two Enterprise episodes up for consideration are perhaps the worst ever. Hell, I'd pick Quark's mother rubbing Grand Nagus Zek's ears (from one of the most-hated DS9 episodes) over Archer and his dog in a "decontamination gel" scene. The writing on the series usually seems to be a rehash of technobabble-heavy TNG episodes, not to mention the fact that all episodes are either written by or come from ideas by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. The running Temporal Cold War plotline is kept so ambiguous that I doubt the producers even know where they're going with it (altho they have sadly missed many opportunities to make some funny Quantum Leap jokes). I have found the acting, even in widely acclaimed episodes such as "Future Tense," to still be somewhat wooden and stilted. A lot of the characters seem to be shoved to the background (see Trip and Mayweather... or are they the same character? Geez, I don't know, it's not like I've seen an episode that really makes it clear). About the only good thing I can find in the show is the all-CGI special effects, and those would be much better employed if they were, say, used to go back and redo one of the Dominion War ship battles from DS9 (which are spectacular already). Hopefully they won't let this one drag on interminably for seven years only to come to a convoluted ending...

Contratulations Richard! (1)

Mike McCune (18136) | more than 11 years ago | (#5776351)

I would like to congratulate fellow Twilight Tales [twilighttales.com] member Richard Chwedyk for winning the Nebula for Bronte's Egg [twilighttales.com] and for allowing Twilight Tales [twilighttales.com] to post it on the Web site.

<blatant plug>
If any Sci-Fi or Horror fans visit Chicago, come to Twilight Tales [twilighttales.com] on Monday night for Chicago's longest running (10 years) genre specific reading group.
</blantant plug>
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