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Science Fiction Thursday: Real Astronauts, Hugo Awards, Eisner Awards

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | April 17, 2014 |


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It’s that time again, kids. Thursday. When sheep run scared and we talk science fiction news. I hope those two facts aren’t related, but we don’t judge here.

First up, have you heard of this show called Firefly? Well, the first Instagram photo ever posted from orbit went up yesterday. And Astronaut Steve Swanson is wearing a Firefly t-shirt. So he’s alright. I mean, I’d be more impressed if he dropped an asteroid on the parking lot at Fox and said the next one was going to take out the American Idol set unless he saw an announcement of the series coming back, but I guess they psychologically screen astronauts, so whatever.

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Second, the finalists for the Hugo Awards will be announced this Saturday, April 19th. For those of you who don’t know, the Hugos are sort of like the Oscars of Science Fiction. Best Short Story, Best Novel, everything lovely in the written word. They tend to be an excellent barometer for a book’s quality. So, they’re really the opposite of the Oscars in that sense. Basically, take a pile of all Hugo Award winners, lock yourself in a room, and you’ll come out in four weeks extremely satisfied. Or dead. Why wouldn’t you think to bring food and water?

Anyway, you can watch the announcements of the finalists this Saturday at 8:30pm British Time (3:30pm EST if you insist, but between Doctor Who and the military occupation of Greenwich, the British clearly control time) live streaming on the Internet right here! Or you can just look up the results later, which is probably simpler.

Third, the finalists for the Eisner Awards have also been announced. That’s the comic book version of the Hugos, and the winners get announced at ComiCon in San Diego over the summer. I know comics aren’t strictly science fiction, but one of the big ones over the last year is a space opera called Saga by Brian Vaughan. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve been assured that it’s all kinds of wonderful by our old friend Joanna Robinson. Which must make it true because she writes words on the Internet, and none of us can tell lies. There’s a microchip.

Oh and one last thing, we have an honest to [insert science fiction character for painful joke] science fiction movie getting release this weekend, Transcendence. Not to get you too excited, but it’s supposed to be terrible. I’ll be reviewing it, with an objective analysis with no preconceived notions, of just exactly how and why it is so bad.


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