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For Your Consideration: Stuff Not By Me

Now that I've done the de rigeur listing of all of my own stuff published in 2014, I wanted to say a few words about some other things that I will nominating.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM. It was a great year for SF and fantasy movies. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was a lot of fun and will undoubtedly end up on the final ballot... but I'd go with INTERSTELLAR as the best of the year. The most ambitious and challenging SF film since Kubrick's 2001. A feast for the eyes, and a film that demands to be seen more than once. I will also be nominating a long-shot: PREDESTINATION, the film version of the ultimate time-travel story, Robert A. Heinlein's "All You Zombies." RAH himself would have liked this, I suspect: very faithful to his story, well directed, superb acting (Sarah Snook especially). It's a small film compared to blockbusters like GUARDIANS and INTERSTELLAR, but I hope it won't be overlooked.

DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM. Sure, I'd be thrilled if one or more episodes of GAME OF THRONES made the ballot... but I have to admit, there was a LOT of great SF and fantasy on TV last year. It would great if the voters would start looking beyond our show and DOCTOR WHO. ORPHAN BLACK got a nomination last year, and probably deserves another one. The British anthology series BLACK MIRROR had some wonderfully original and mind-bending segments. Horror fans had a lot to enjoy between THE WALKING DEAD, Z NATION, and PENNY DREADFUL. And for something truly from left field, the always witty crime romcom CASTLE has been known to wander into SF from time to time. The time travel episode from 2013 was overlooked, alas... but 2014 included "The Time of Our Lives," a parallel worlds story that I enjoyed almost as much.

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST. John Picacio, of course. Donato, for the calendar, as mentioned in my last post. But also MICHAEL KOMARCK, and JOHN HOWE, and ALAN LEE, and MAGALI VILLENUEVE.

BEST NOVEL. The big one. I read a lot of good novels in 2014... but, alas, not all of them were published in 2014. So many books, so little time, it's hard to match the reading to the awards calendar. One of the 2014 books that I did read stands above all the others, however: STATION ELEVEN, by Emily St. John Mandel. As best I can recall, I've never met Emily St. John Mandel, and I've never read anything else by her, but I won't soon forget STATION ELEVEN. One could, I suppose, call it a post-apocolypse novel, and it is that, but all the usual tropes of that subgenre are missing here, and half the book is devoted to flashbacks to before the coming of the virus that wipes out the world, so it's also a novel of character, and there's this thread about a comic book and Doctor Eleven and a giant space station and... oh, well, this book should NOT have worked, but it does. It's a deeply melancholy novel, but beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac... a book that I will long remember, and return to.

BEST FAN WRITER. There have been arguments in the past about what, precisely, constitutes fan writing, and who should or should not be eligible for this award. LAURA J. MIXON is a professional writer, and a very talented one, with half a dozen strong novels under her own name and her pseudonym of M.J. Locke... but this year she published on-line, in a non-professional and unpaid capacity, 'A Report on Damage Done by One Individual Under Several Names,' a detailed, eloquent, and devastating expose of the venomous internet troll best known as 'Requires Hate' and 'Winterfox.' You can find it here: http://laurajmixon.com/2014/11/a-report-on-damage-done-by-one-individual-under-several-names/ It's not your usual sort of fan writing, admittedly... but it wasn't done for money, and it wasn't published professionally, and it's a terrific piece of journalism, an important piece that speaks to issues of growing importance to fandom in this internet age. So I'm nominating Mixon for Best Fan Writer, and I urge you to do the same.


Mar. 9th, 2015 03:34 am (UTC)
Sorry to be picky....
But you misspelled Magali Villeneuve 's last name. Do misspelled named still count for nomination by the way?
Mar. 9th, 2015 06:21 am (UTC)
Re: Sorry to be picky....
Yes, they do.
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry to be picky....
@vdevilleneuve : I always thought this little spelling mistake gave a nice, sunny latin feel to my name. Until people realize I'm just french... ^^'

@GRR Martin : Thank you very much for the quote, especially because the other guys are artists I've always looked up to :D

Mar. 9th, 2015 09:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry to be picky....
@ Magali : i have a Dutch first name and a French last name so whatever the nationality, people always get at least one of them wrong. Makes me extra sensitive to mistakes most likely! On the plus side, to the Dutch a French last name sounds very sunny:). Until they realize I'm just Dutch.

And after getting into a small conversation with two people whose work I absolutely admire, It just goes to show you can take something positive out of mistakes!
Jesper Haglund
Mar. 9th, 2015 09:42 am (UTC)
Totally agree about Laura J. Mixon
But for best short dramatic presentation I'd probably opt for Larry Santoro's farewell message to the listeners of Starship Sofa: http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2014/07/26/weve-lost-a-sofanaut-rip-larry-santoro/
Jesper Haglund
Mar. 9th, 2015 09:46 am (UTC)
Totally agree about Laura J. Mixon
But for best dramatic short, might I suggest Larry Santoro's farewell message to the listeners of Starship Sofa. I'd include a link, but that got the comment marked as spam when I first tried.
Mar. 9th, 2015 11:22 am (UTC)
A timely reminder
Dear Ser George,

Thank you for the nudge. Sitting here in the UK, it's easy to forget the time difference.

I was pleased to see your nod to Black Mirror. Interestingly, it's very popular in China. S01E01 (The National Anthem) got me hooked - more like 15 seconds into the future rather 15 minutes. When PM David Cameron said that he thought LOL meant Lots of Love, that episode came straight into my mind.

A couple of my suggestions for Best Novel are The Martian by Andy Weir (still in my foreground memory) and Joe Abercrombie's YA novel Half a King (aphorisms to die for).

Good luck with the GoT eps - that's where my vote goes (Doctor Who?).
David Rosenblatt
Mar. 9th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC)
Hi George,

I'm absolutely loving your positive attitude towards Interstellar. A lot of people (critics and fans alike, it would seem) did not like it as much as I would have thought. I thought Interstellar was a remarkable, effective, and moving piece of cinematic achievement that has been grossly overlooked by all major award ceremonies. It is consistently irritating, as I'm sure you would agree, that a big budget science fiction movie is acknowledged only for its technical achievements and not its acting, writing, or directing merits. I have seen the eight movies nominated for best picture, and while I enjoyed some more than others, I don't think any has compared to Interstellar dramatically (though the importance of pieces such as Selma or The Imitation Game I won't deny).

I also strongly respect your continued appreciation of others' arts in general. It is truly telling of your passionate inner-fanboy, not to mention your humility, that you take the time to promote not only your own work for Hugo consideration, but also write an entire (long and detailed) post on other writers' and creators' works, year after year. While I will unfortunately never get a chance to devote as much time to pursuing new work as I would like, it is always nice to see you commend others for their work, and perhaps give me a starting point to delve into 2014's offerings.

Of course, I continue to look forward to your very own upcoming books...whenever, indeed, they do, come out!

Very sincerely yours,
David Rosenblatt
James Riley
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Interstellar
You don't think the other Best Picture-nominated films stand up to Interstellar dramatically?? I loved Interstellar for its premise and visuals, and there was some good acting...but Christopher Nolan isn't exactly known for making sophisticated drama. He directs action movies, and really, that's what Interstellar was.

I mean, how many suspenseful, race-to-beat-the-clock scenes can you splice in between CGI effects and it still be considered a respectable piece of dramatic film?

Edited at 2015-03-09 05:47 pm (UTC)
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Interstellar
Christopher Nolan made THE PRESTIGE, which is hardly an action movie. It's a movie of character, and the best film about magic since NIGHTMARE ALLEY.

I do think INTERSTELLAR should have been up for the Best Picture Oscar.

We are talking about the Hugo Awards here, however.
Mar. 12th, 2015 07:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Interstellar
I was about to say, "Don't forget Memento", but then I remembered it's all about forgetting...to the best of my recollection. I haven't seen Interstellar, but Nolan has a reputation as a highly cerebral, even clinical writer and director, with only the Batman trilogy being really action-orientated. And if Inception wasn't sophisticated, I don't know what might deserve that tag.
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:02 pm (UTC)
Interstellar was indeed a surprise for me. I didn't expect it to blow me away like it did. It deserves all the praise it can get.

I've been wanting to see Predestination ever since you mentioned it in a previous post, but I wonder if I should maybe read the novel before watching the movie ?
Mar. 9th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
"All You Zombies" is a short story, not a novel.
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:57 pm (UTC)
In this particular case, I'd suggest watching the film first, since it's more of a time investment and it turns on some clever twists that become somewhat more obvious if you've already read the story.

But do read the story. It's a classic.
Mar. 10th, 2015 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, but if I watch the movie and then read the story, won't I just be spoiled for the short story ?
Mar. 9th, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions!
Mar. 9th, 2015 07:54 pm (UTC)
station eleven was so, so great. agreed 100%.
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC)
Laura Mixon
Great suggestion - and a difficult reading. Thanks George.
Adam Posner
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Linville
Mar. 9th, 2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
Heads up
Hello Mr. Martin,

You should know that I've come across a website claiming to have leaked information about the release date for winds of winter. I believe it states that it will be released along with "Knight of the Seven Kingdoms". Have faith that I along with many others fully support your endeavors and that you as the artist should not have to rush your work of art to please the demanding masses. You have enriched my life by 5 books thus far and I do expect another 2 whenever they are ready. Thank you so much for your hard work!

Mar. 10th, 2015 03:33 am (UTC)
Re: Heads up
Don't believe anything you read about WOW on strange sites.
Amy Kenny
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:34 am (UTC)
Re: Heads up
I figure the best place to hear about WOW is here. Anything else is pointless.
Patrick St.Croix
Mar. 11th, 2015 03:41 am (UTC)
Re: Heads up/Revis
Ha, that amount of stories are getting out of control, and I have grown accustom to the click bait sites. However, I will admit I was suckered in recently as one of these rags tried quoting you from some comic central city / game of thrones event as saying, "you're putting finishing touches on wow." This intrigued me , but never found any audio or event interview, so I dismissed as more misinformation. Honestly, I think even a hint of progress would clear the air, and put these rags making fortune of click bait adverts out of business. I know you can't win either way because prior books you did keep us loyal fans updated, but you got burnt by trolls. Probably the same trolls that are still printing nonsense.

By the way I know we talked after the super bowl. Being a Pats fan I'm disappointed they did not reacquire Revis, but I wasn't surprised with all the tampering done by Woody!! Haha, I'm just joking the jets have had a very decent offseason so far, and if they can grab a semi decent QB might actually grab a wildcard slot.
Byron Gillan
Mar. 10th, 2015 01:52 am (UTC)
It's surprising to hear you enjoyed Interstellar as much as you did. While I liked the film for its sheer audacity, I felt that Nolan (once again) overreached in the story department. The entire final act, without spoilers for those who have yet to see it, made little to no sense and hinged on an improbable plot point. I understand it's a movie, and delving into fantastic territory and unknown science, but the plot-hole the final leg of the narrative hinged upon felt so gaping, I couldn't overlook it and it ended up souring the film's payoff for me.

Guardians was fantastic but I would probably give Predestination the nod for best SF film this year. It really blew me away, and perhaps even more so because I hadn't actually read the original story by Heinlein. Sarah Snook was incredible in it, and Ethan Hawke didn't do too bad either. Definitely an overlooked gem, and one I can't wait to show to as many of my friends as possible.

Edited at 2015-03-10 01:54 am (UTC)
Chad Cottle
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Interstellar....
That last "improbable plot point" you mention in regards to the end of Interstellar perplexed me, too, but only for about a day. As I thought about it, I finally figured it out...

Multiple viewings are in my future.
Amy Kenny
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC)
Thank you for being...you
Hi George,
I follow your "not a blog," often and I love it. I am sitting here in Australia, a bright and sunny autumn day, reflecting on the books daily.
I've read the GOT series twice, and now back for thirds. I have read all of Tolkien, but that reading was slow-going.
I thank you for all your deeply symbolic, and meaningful prose. You have created a world where I can explore in quiet solace on a daily basis, a vacation from the thoughts of everyday life.
While I am not a writer, I am a registered nurse and midwife. I come home after a shift to have a look at your website, or venture into the Dothraki Sea.
Very exciting to see personal recommendations of books and will endeavor to read them.
Chad Cottle
Mar. 10th, 2015 03:21 pm (UTC)
Interstellar is the best movie I've ever seen. I concur with your nomination of it.

If any of you haven't seen it, it is a hugely satisfying film. I went into the theater without any previous knowledge of the movie at all. Within five minutes of the film starting, it becomes obvious this is something extraordinary, and it simply builds on that from the first minutes to the last, until you're wiping your eyes and clapping with all the other movie-goers.

How often do crowds clap at the end of a movie? I haven't seen that often, but I was on my feet clapping and wiping my eyes along with hundreds of other people at the end of Interstellar.
André Silva
Mar. 11th, 2015 04:22 am (UTC)
Series vs Books
Dear George RR Martin,

I am certainly not the first to ask you this and certainly won't be the last and I am sorry for asking this here but we, your readers, are concerned about the series spoiling the books so I am just wondering if you could set us at ease and let us know if the series and the books have finally parted ways storywise and if D&D are really going to use your ending?

Again, I am sorry to ask you this here but I could not think of other way and this was just eating me inside.

Thank you,

Laura J Mixon
Mar. 11th, 2015 05:07 am (UTC)
The Mixon Nom

Thanks so much for the signal boost on my post on Requires Hate/ Winterfox. It's a topic that I believe people need to be aware of, in order to help protect people from further abuses, and a Hugo nomination will provide that larger platform of awareness.



George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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