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message 1: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Post and discuss the latest developments on the SF and Fantasy scene in this thread!


message 2: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Aug 01, 2020 06:24AM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Here's a petition against the next WorldCon taking place in SA (written by Anna Smith Spark):

Dear WSFS, and dear Norman,

As writers, publishers and readers of science fiction and fantasy, we are writing to express our concern that Saudi Arabia has been accepted as a potential host site for the 2022 World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon).

SFF is the great genre of possibilities and pluralities. As readers, writers and publishers of SFF our task is to inspire wonder: we look up at the stars to seek out other ways of being, we look down at the earth around us to find enchantment, beauty, romance, horror, hope. We create new worlds because we believe that in doing so we can make this world a better and intellectually richer place. A Jeddah WorldCon would allow fandom a chance to visit a breathtakingly beautiful city, Jeddah. It would break new ground for SFF Fandom, open up a new world to fans who may otherwise never have an opportunity to travel there, and show solidarity with creative communities within Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. It’s therefore with great sadness that we must face reality for what it is, that the Saudi regime is antithetical to everything SFF stands for.

The most recent Amnesty International report on Saudi Arabia states that in 2019 the Saudi government ‘escalated repression of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. They harassed, arbitrarily detained and prosecuted dozens of government critics, human rights defenders, including women’s rights activists, members of the Shi’a minority and family members of activists. […] Some people, most of them members of the country’s Shi’a minority, were executed following grossly unfair trials.’[1] Saudi women face systematic legal discrimination, while identifying as LGBQT+ is illegal and can be punishable with corporal punishment and even execution. Saudi Arabia is a key player in the war in Yemen that has left 80% of the Yemeni population in need of humanitarian aid, and has been accused of war crimes in the region[2]. The UN concluded last year that it was ‘credible’ that the Saudi Crown Prince personally ordered the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi for the crime of writing words[3]. It cannot and must not be acceptable to stage an international event against this backdrop. Indeed, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi alone should be enough to render the concept of a literary convention in the country an absurdity.

On a personal level, we note that many of us would ourselves not be able to write or to live freely under Saudi law. We refuse to attend an event if those staffing it cannot have the same basic freedoms. We express deep concern that many members of the SFF community would be excluded from attending an event because of their sexuality, nationality or religious beliefs.

We stand in solidarity with those who seek change in the country. And we write in protest but also in hope – that by raising awareness of the political situation in Saudi Arabia a WorldCon SA will one day be possible.

Yours sincerely,


*signed by the petitioners*


message 3: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3760 comments Mod
Just a question - this is a thread for news only or discussions as well? I guess the former with links to discussions (where present) is better


message 4: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "Just a question - this is a thread for news only or discussions as well? I guess the former with links to discussions (where present) is better"

It may get too crowded if we were to make threads for every piece of news. Guess we can just discuss them here.


message 5: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Art wrote: "It may get too crowded if we were to make threads for every piece of news. Guess we can just discuss them here."

I think if we pay attention and paste what we are replying to, we should be fine all in one group. We can always change later, if need be.


message 6: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
At last some good news:
https://www.sfwa.org/2020/08/04/coali...


message 7: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
https://raybradburyreadathon.com/

Marking the 100th birthday of Ray Bradbury, there will be a streamed reading starting August 22nd.


message 8: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
Should we do a birthday challenge?


message 9: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
List of asteroid close calls

https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/

I got this out of an article in the New York Times that says we are having a close call right before the US general election November 3. Don't know if you can see the article without subscribing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/23/sc...


message 10: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Sep 02, 2020 10:15PM) (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
This is hilarious:
https://twitter.com/allimannimal/stat...

Third party cover designer used copyrighted material for one of the Pern book covers. The dragon from Shrek of all things!


message 11: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
Art wrote: "This is hilarious:
https://twitter.com/allimannimal/stat...

Third party cover designer used copyrighted material for one of the Pern book covers. The dragon from Shrek of all th..."


Not to mention the title, haha


message 12: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments For better or worse the dudes that made Game of Thrones for HBO are now making “The Three Body Problem” for Netflix.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnn....


message 13: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
That sounds challenging and cerebral. It’s not exactly action-packed for a mass audience.


message 14: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments Allan wrote: "That sounds challenging and cerebral. It’s not exactly action-packed for a mass audience."

That's a good point. I have so many questions. Will it be white washed? Will they add stuff? Not sure they know how to do exposition without boobs..


message 15: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "For better or worse the dudes that made Game of Thrones for HBO are now making “The Three Body Problem” for Netflix. "

Well, good. I was not that crazy about the books, so maybe tv will be better


message 16: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 716 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "For better or worse the dudes that made Game of Thrones for HBO are now making “The Three Body Problem” for Netflix.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnn....-..."


For worse. Definitely for worse. Those guys are dead to me, I won't watch a thing they put out.


message 17: by Kristenelle (last edited Sep 03, 2020 04:54PM) (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments Kalin wrote: "For worse. Definitely for worse. Those guys are dead to me, I won't watch a thing they put out."

Ah, I wish I had that level of purity, but I know I'm probably not going to be able to resist. I loved "Three Body Problem" and I loved GOT until they they betrayed us all. Especially hearing their interviews after GOT...D&B are despicable. Maybe they've learned their lesson? I'm excited but also scared and resigned to being disappointed.


message 18: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
@Kalin: why are they dead to you? You feel they messed up GOT?


message 19: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 716 comments Mod
They did, and I wouldn't characterize it as just my feelings. There's a general consensus among both critics and audience that the final seasons were a complete dumpster fire. Really, an adaptation of an unfinished series never should have been given the go-ahead, but it was very apparent that things turned out worse than they could have, on account D&D's lack of commitment and general incompetence. They grew tired of the show and rushed to the finish line, taking GRRM's broad-strokes plot points and translating those to screen as presented to them, without giving needed space to the plot and character arcs involved. They ruined characters through their writing (holy hell Tyrion became insufferable towards the end).

I'm also convinced that GOT was weakened from the get-go by D&D's insistence on emphasizing The Boobs, their reliance on sexposition, their lack of literacy in sexual violence (and hence their unintended inclusion of rape scenes more than once), their devotion to spectacle over substance.

GOT is likely to go down in history as the show that choked the hardest in its final episodes. "Subverting expectations" & "While X kind of forgot about the Y" are both infamous memes at this point. The only other close contender for that spot is LOST season 6 (which was also crushing disappointment to many fans).

You can just browse one of the two main GOT subreddits (freefolk, the other being asoiaf) at https://www.reddit.com/r/freefolk/ to see how embittered fans are reacting to the news.

Kristen wrote: "Maybe they've learned their lesson?"

I wish, but there's no evidence at all they have. The one public appearance I recall that incited a ton of hot-take-hate online, including a great twitter thread from NK Jemisin, was like six months after the fallout from GOT season 8. I think they're completely oblivious.

Let's not forget their white supremacist slavery wet dream idea "Confederate"... which only got taken off production because they moved to Netflix for $200+ million, and which they never acknowledged or admitted was a bad idea in any way.


message 20: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments My interpretation which may or may not be correct is that Star Wars fired them after hearing them unabashedly admit that they stopped trying with GoT because they got bored with it. Maybe wishful thinking.


https://www.fastcompany.com/90423873/...


message 21: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments And yeah, Jemisin’s twitter thread was great. I thought it was really sweet that she made a point of not including GRR Martin in the disgust.


message 22: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
I have to agree with much of that, perhaps not so vehemently. Fine for the casual, instant-gratification fan, who hasn’t read the series, but not for die-hard readers. I for one am fine with GRRM taking forever on the final books. I feel like it shouldn’t be rushed, or it will wind up like the series.

Right now anyway, I’m indifferent to them doing a TBP series. I just don’t see how that can translate well to the screen. How do you depict the tri-solar world and its issues? There’s not intrigue, battles & dragons, not much action. I don’t see casual fans picking up on it at all. You’ve got all the elements of good space opera in The Expanse, and that series, with lots of intrigue, space battles & all, has only a cult following and has had to be rescued twice.


message 23: by Kalin (last edited Sep 03, 2020 08:48PM) (new)

Kalin | 716 comments Mod
I haven't actually read TBP but I trust the many voices questioning how such a complex story can be done right on screen.:

My two cents is that D&D demonstrated amply throughout their GOT run that they don't have the cultural competency to navigate representation of non-western peoples without inflicting a heavy white gaze. I'm incredibly skeptical of their ability to interpret and adapt the only non-Western novel to win a Hugo in history, with its Chinese origins and cultural touchstones. Of course, they could be intending to just whitewash and localize the whole thing. I can see it now: "D&D bring to the small screen our generation's very own Dragonball Z/Ghost in the Shell live action."


message 24: by TomK2 (last edited Sep 04, 2020 09:31PM) (new)

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments well, on thing GOT on HBO was successful at was getting me to read or listen to Martin's books. I could tell from the start of the HBO programs, even though I was mesmerized by boobs, that there was so much more to the characters than could possibly be portrayed on screen. So I read or listened to them all after watching the HBO first season. And I was not disappointed by the books at the time. However, I was disappointed by the end of the HBO series and Martin's inability to finish what he had begun. He had characters that deserved far more than HBO gave them, and did not deserve to be abandoned by Martin. Aye... don't get me started!!!!!


message 25: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3760 comments Mod
TomK2 wrote: "well, on thing GOT on HBO was successful at was getting me to read or listen to Martin's books.."

I've read them as well after the GOT was successful, but without watching a single episode - it was hotly debated, so I gave it a try. Therefore, even if producers are bad (I still haven't watched), it was the fact of TV series existing that affected me


message 26: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
I read the first 4 books a few years before the HBO series, so I knew what it was about. As I’ve said before, I discovered GRRM from reading Sandkings, his Hugo-winning novella. From prior experience, of course, I knew there was no way they could put the depth of the story and characters into 10 or 12 episodes a year...just not possible. So I didn’t go in with very high expectations, and I felt that what they did was to hit the high points, enough to bring it to a much more mainstream audience...my wife, for example. The whole series was geared toward that, and I felt that the boobage early on was traditional HBO nudity/piggishness. Knowing that they could only be successful by making it mob fodder, I wasn’t that disappointed until the final season, which was too fast and anti-climactic. I fault them a lot more than GRRM, who perhaps made a mistake letting them do it before he was ready to finish it. Having the series done probably limits his sales of the final books. Now I’m hoping they don’t have to bring in Brandon Sanderson to finish it.


message 27: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new)

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Allan wrote: "Now I’m hoping they don’t have to bring in Brandon Sanderson to finish it."

LOL. Now I have to say, I don't know if I will ever get around to reading these, so maybe it doesn't matter to me if Sanderson takes over.


message 28: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 716 comments Mod
Haha there's no way. Sanderson and Robert Jordan actually have a similar style, which made it possible. Sanderson could not write Martin's work.


message 29: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3760 comments Mod
My take is GRRM is a victim of his own success. Most likely he planned some surprises that were predicted by fans exactly because the series is so popular, and now he has to rethink everything to make a surprise, but he cannot overthink thousands of fans


message 30: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments That could very well be, Z. I don’t get why writers feel like they have to change their plans if fans predict twists though. I heard the same thing happened with the second season of West World and that’s why it was so convoluted and not great. It would have been better to let the fans be right. That is the fun of predictions, right? It is fun because you might be right. I guess there just needs to be more than one prediction. That way it doesn’t feel obvious.


message 31: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "That could very well be, Z. I don’t get why writers feel like they have to change their plans if fans predict twists though. I heard the same thing happened with the second season of West World and..."

Could be the ego too, as a (ex)chef by trade I can imagine me rolling out a new recipe, eagerly asking my friends to guess the "secret" ingredient just to have someone randomly say "turmeric", that would put a damper on the whole deal, haha.

Guess the writers feel cheated and end up making something convoluted, it happened to do many series since 2005, where series started getting real cult followers.


message 32: by Gabi (new)

Gabi | 546 comments Allan wrote: "Now I’m hoping they don’t have to bring in Brandon Sanderson to finish it...."

LOL! What a thought! If Sanderson would take on ASoIaF even I would consider reading on - but as Kalin said his style doesn't fit.


message 33: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3760 comments Mod
Kristen wrote: "That could very well be, Z. I don’t get why writers feel like they have to change their plans if fans predict twists though."

When Lost TV series was just started, fans guessed that all characters are dead. The producers/authors denied that. However, the end (7 year later?) showed that they lied.


message 34: by Eva (new)

Eva | 1 comments Gabi wrote: "Allan wrote: "Now I’m hoping they don’t have to bring in Brandon Sanderson to finish it...."

LOL! What a thought! If Sanderson would take on ASoIaF even I would consider reading on - but as Kalin ..."


Lol, yes, I agree. Not only does his style not fit, he said he can't even read it - too upsetting and dark, and some characters' thoughts and motivations are so messed up that he can't bear it. He did say he thinks it's very good and well-written, just too dark for him personally (for me, too, I tolerated watching an episode a week, but the books were too unrelenting for me).


message 35: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 716 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "they lied."

I don't agree. They were only dead in the final season, which they came up with on the fly, and only in "sideflashes"; the story that took place on the island etc. was still real life within the story's universe. So they *were* being honest. But the end of Lost was still terrible.


message 36: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments Oleksandr wrote: "Kristen wrote: "That could very well be, Z. I don’t get why writers feel like they have to change their plans if fans predict twists though."

When Lost TV series was just started, fans guessed tha..."


Yeah, see, why not just slyly answer, "maybe and maybe not?"


message 37: by Kristenelle (new)

Kristenelle | 310 comments Eva wrote: "He did say he thinks it's very good and well-written, just too dark for him personally (for me, too, I tolerated watching an episode a week, but the books were too unrelenting for me)."

Ew, really? I have this idea that I might eventually get around to reading them, but it is hard to imagine something darker than the show. Sometimes I think about rewatching the show, but then I remember that I'd have to rewatch the parts with Joffrey and Ramsay. I did not enjoy those parts.


message 38: by Gabi (new)

Gabi | 546 comments Eva wrote: "Lol, yes, I agree. Not only does his style not fit, he said he can't even read it - too upsetting and dark, and some characters' thoughts and motivations are so messed up that he can't bear it. He did say he thinks it's very good and well-written, just too dark for him personally (for me, too, I tolerated watching an episode a week, but the books were too unrelenting for me)...."

:D It wasn't necessarily the brutal, depressing content. By book 5 I had the feeling GRRM had somehow lost the concept. I skimmed half of the book and still didn't get the feeling I missed something. Whereas with Sanderson I have the feeling that he exactly knows from the first page on what will happen on page 10000 (if all his Stormlight Archive books are in the realm of 1000 pages/book) and writes his content accordingly.


message 39: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "Kristen wrote: "That could very well be, Z. I don’t get why writers feel like they have to change their plans if fans predict twists though."

When Lost TV series was just started, fans guessed tha..."

Lol at the massive spoiler, Z


message 40: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
Bringing up Sanderson was of course sarcastic, more referring to the fact that GRRM could die before finishing the series. Heaven forbid, then we’d only be left with the show, unless they could find someone really suitable!


message 41: by Kalin (new)

Kalin | 716 comments Mod
It's pretty safe to say at this point that the series won't be finished, considering that the intervals between publications grows with each one, and we've seen from the show just how much story there is left to tell. D&D may have been comfortable fast-forwarding through the climax of the entire story, but GRRM won't do less than his best, which means he won't do it at all, because his best on "A Dream of Spring" will more or less take him 15 years.


message 42: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
I thought Sanderson’s finish was completely seamless. I couldn’t tell the difference myself. Now, he was handpicked, the plotting was done and he had a whole library of reference material to work with. I’m sure GRRM likewise has tons of material, but who could be a successor?


message 43: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 3760 comments Mod
Art wrote: "Lol at the massive spoiler, Z."

:)
I doubt that people who hadn't watched it when it was originally aired, don't do it 10 years later (or 16 from the first season), mainly because old shows watching is done by recommendations and fans chiefly hated the ending


message 44: by Eva (new)

Eva | 1 comments I'm mostly just sad that Brienne will spend the rest of her days stuck in council meetings with guys who think their "last night in the whorehouse" stories are the funniest, most amusing thing ever...

I just cannot imagine anything more dreary and depressing.


message 45: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
The realm is at peace, all the bad people are dead and there’s no more palace intrigue. That would make quite the boring life for everyone. How about Jon on the Wall, with no one to guard against? Almost sounds like a setting for a sequel.....


message 46: by TomK2 (last edited Sep 07, 2020 01:13AM) (new)

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments oh, John is going north of the wall for adventures untold! Who knows what residual creatures of myth, nightmare, and magic awaits him. Not to mention the resurrection of the entire collapsed society before the Game of Thrones. Does GRRM have heirs to sell the rights to such things after his death? Thats when we sill see the whole GOT universe explode. LOL. I would rather GRRM be alive to sell out and profit himself, of course. Let Hollywood exercise their expertise in spin offs while he cashes checks. Prequels, sequels, and spinoffs, Oh My!


message 47: by Allan (new)

Allan Phillips | 2121 comments Mod
Anyone a member of or know anything about NetGalley?


message 48: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Allan wrote: "Anyone a member of or know anything about NetGalley?"

Apparently it's a platform on which you can ask for free version of unpublished books in exchange for reviews. No idea how well it works if at all.


message 49: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new)

Art | 2551 comments Mod
For the lovers of Hard Sci-fi there's a nice line up of works from 2019, 10 of which are free online:

http://www.rocketstackrank.com/2020/0...


message 50: by Gabi (new)

Gabi | 546 comments Allan wrote: "Anyone a member of or know anything about NetGalley?"

I see a lot of reviews from folks who got the books as ARCs from NetGalley, sounds totally interesting. I went to their page, but it seems to be only for those reviewers who have blogs or channels or write for magazines and such - for those with a wider audience.


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