Hugo Nominee, Short Story : “Non-Zero Probabilities” by N.K. Jemisin

A bit of an odd story, about very improbable things happening much more often than they should – or concentrated in one place, but not in others.

This one has an unusual take on probability and superstition. I generally liked it, even if is not something exceptional.

N.K. Jemisin was another complete unknown to me, so good to see a new author.


Hugo Awards 2010 Short Story : “Spar” by Kij Johnson


A short story on the theme of “Sex with an Alien”.

The whole story has one single scene , the alien is certainly non humanoid.

Unfortunately the most often asked question during reading the story was “when is it over” I found it repetitive and boring. Sorry I could not give a better review. The story must have been found good by someone, since it was nominated.

This may be an experimental story, but to me it failed.


Hugo Nominee, Short Story : “The Moment” by Lawrence M. Schoen

Schoen was a complete unknown to me, so I do not know if this is his usual style.

As stories go this one does not, to me, have a real plot. The closest to a story line is the search for archeological evidence.

The story feels like a series of disjointed images with an extremely loose connection. there is the search (see above), then an image of a generation ship (crash) landing on a moon, and finally a connection to a great machine, apparently near the center of the galaxy.

I found the conclusion a bit anticlimactic, oh, yes, this seems to be about a species (probably humanity) leaving a planet (probably Earth).

While I do not particularly like the story, I respect the author going where few have gone before, even if this did not work out for me. It must have worked for other people, since it was nominated for the Award.

3/10 from me.

Doctor Who Silurian story, Old and New

Having watched the first episode of the “new Who” Silurian story, “The Hungry Earth” I decided to take a look at the very first Silurian story, I happened to have it on DVD in the “Beneath the Surface” box set.

Now, when overcoming the rather poor technical quality (thank you very much BBC for deleting the tapes) and thus the poor video quality, this is a very good story.

The memory of my early Doctor Who (before the “new series” is mainly of Jon Pertwee, and I do recall to have seen some nice stories.

Early Who mostly has a lot of running through corridors etc (well, new Who does, too), chased by monsters. While looking monster-like, the Silurians are not really that much different in attitudes from humans, making them more interesting adversaries.

This is more so true of the escalating military part of the conflict, so well commented by the Doctor.

The end is rather sad, and perhaps that is reflected in “The Hungry Earth”, seeing the Doctor’s attitude towards the Silurians.

Hugo Awards 2010 Fan Art

Finally I decided to become a “supporting member” of Worldcon2010 (Aussiecon).

This means that I have been downloading the “Hugo Voter Package” with the majority of the material nominated for the Hugo Awards. When unpacked this amounts to a whopping 700MB, including 5-6 each of Novels, Novellettes, Novellas and Short Stories, as well as a fair bit of Fan and pro magazines, fan and pro artworks.

Last year I started out with reading the novels ( the short stories had already been listened to as podcasts ) and I think that was somewhat of a mistake, since I never got to anything shorter than the novels (apart from the short stories) before the time to vote had come.

This year the plan is to go the opposite way, so I started looking at the:

Fan Artist category in the package :

Brad W. Foster,
David Howell,
Steve Stiles and
Taral Wayne

All were nominated for graphics art in different styles, except David Howell who designed the base for the 2009 Hugo award.

David Howell will be my choice of Fan Artist for the Hugo Awards 2010. I like the design a lot and I think he deserves to be recognized for the work he did.

Will I be disappointed if someone else wins ? Not at all, this just reflects my preference.

DanCon 2010

Today I went to a small scifi convention in Copenhagen.

The DanCon is a one day convention with a single thread, all going on i one room. It is organised by one of the Danish Science fiction societies, Science Fiction Cirklen. Everything was going on in Danish.

The con opened with a very nice panel discussion on “Tendencies English language short stories”, with a few examples of authors old and new.

After lunch we had a very nice presentation on medical science of the future, seen in the light of Star Trek technology, quite entertaining with a few examples illustrating how far we have already come and where we are behind the ST tech. An interesting fact is that the “hypospray” of ST had already been invented and tested some years before the original series aired.

The rest of the afternoon we had a presentation of the older British comic strip “Dan Dare”, a presentation of Anime

The afternoon ended with a presentation of the classic scifi magazine Astounding (before Campbell), an interesting insight into the scifi of the 30’s.

I found that I might have a subject for a presentation on a following con, so I am afraid I may have some work to do until then.

All in all a very enjoyable day meeting scifi friends in Denmark.