Nominating “Huntress” for a Parsec Award

Clerk’s Log, MJDate 54611.9: The following is my pitch to the Parsec nominating committee on behalf of Chris Lester’s story “Huntress,” part of his Metamor City Podcast. Continue reading

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Pod-fiction listening as therapy

You can imagine many uses for podcasts if you try: company during commutes (my own favorite), occupation of the mind during chiefly physical tasks such as washing dishes, even (apologies to many authors) insomnia treatments.

Here’s one I hadn’t considered.

Martyn Casserly is a freelance journalist, musician, and new-media observer living in London; I’m also following him on Twitter. Here‘s how he discovered a benefit of podcast fiction in dealing with a medical problem.

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SCI PHI, the journal, is here!

For those of you who wondered how soon I’d make it into print again…
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Walking in a trinitarian wonderland

You remember how, when Israel crossed over the dried-up Jordan, Joshua had the Israelites take twelve large rocks from the center of the riverbed to build a monument to the event at their first encampment (Joshua 4:1-9). Have you remembered to celebrate its later equivalent?

Today’s reading is from the Book of Linus, chapter 12, verses 34–41:

  • 34 And it shall come to pass, in the day when thou comest unto thy new homeland, where the snow falleth upon the ground as the manna once appeared in the wilderness,
  • 35 That thou shalt prepare from the newly fallen snow three large boulders, according to the measure of the split rocks that thou didst find in the mountains. Of three different sizes shalt thou prepare them, all of the same material and of the same roundness.
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Specialty T-shirts…

…can get you into so much trouble with the fairer sex. “My eyes are up here, buddy.” “Yes indeed, but the unusual words/drawings are down there.

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Welcome, SCI PHI SHOW and 7TH SON listeners!

If you’re here because you heard Jason Rennie’s interview with me in “Sci Phi Show Outcast #59,” (thank you, Jason) or my “7th Son Episode 17: The Story So Far” reading (thanks, Hutch!), you might still be wondering what’s going on here. Here it is, in a nutshell:

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“Just wait ’til NEXT year!”

It wasn’t to be, alas. As I noted earlier, the quality of the other nominees is superb, and I’m not surprised to have been blown out of the water by such excellent pieces as Matt Wallace’s thoughtful “No World for Warriors,” Jason McDowell’s audio tour de force “Sacrifice” (check them both out at Variant Frequencies, a superbly produced collection), and Paul Berger’s “The Watching People” (Escape Pod).

You can find the complete list of finalists at http://www.parsecawards.com/2007Finalists. Give ’em a listen; there’s good stuff here.

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A Parsec nominee I, a thing of shreds and patches…

It’s time for the second annual Parsec Awards for excellence in podcasting, which will be given out at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia (31 August–3 September 2007). Two of my short pieces have been nominated and will be considered by the Parsec steering committee as they choose ten semifinalists and five finalists in each category. Five outside judges, who are not involved with podcasting but are involved with related areas such as literature, science, and communications, will then choose the winners.

My two entries:

  • For “Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form)”: “Distinctive,” from Round 1B of the first Pickle Tales competition.
    The PT judges were rather hard on it (although if they had to trash it, at least they did so gently). I heard from several listeners, however, who were surprised by that and told me they liked the piece. We’ll see what different judges think.
     
  • For “Best Audio Drama (Short Form including Independents)”: “Monster Story: Scott Sigler’s Infection from the Triangles’ Point of View.”
    When Scott podcast his novel Infection (to be published in hardcover next April, thoroughly revised and improved, as Infected — mark your calendar!), he introduced a segment of phoned-in comments with a bit of audio. Episodes 9, 10, and 13–“post-mortem” featured this trilogy of monologues. I figure this one has already succeeded, in that it caught Scott unawares — the kind of achievement normally reserved for his monsters.

Scheduling conflicts will likely keep me from Atlanta and the awards ceremony, alas. But given the excellence of the other nominees, it’s gratifying to be welcomed onto the playing field.

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Scott Sigler, a Strauss waltz, and Super Bowl XLI

Clerk’s log, MJDate 54262.0: Scott’s gracious comment on a previous article reminded me of something remarkable that happened this past February. Let me tell you about it.

Every so often someone comes along and completely changes your perspective on a subject. I hadn’t thought much of Johann Strauss’s waltz “On the Beautiful Blue Danube,” for example, other than that it was simply “pretty music.” Then came the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, sweeping us from prehistory into that fictional year with a panorama that featured a weapon in orbit, then another, and another, and suddenly that shining carousel of an orbital space station with a ground-based shuttle pirouetting into final approach … all to the accompaniment of “On the Beautiful Blue Danube.”

Wow. I began listening to Strauss’s music with a fascination I’d never had before, because Stanley Kubrick and company had built a bridge for me to this unknown territory.

It happened again on the fourth of February twenty-aught-seven.

Scott Sigler — King of the Hard-Science Monsters — the man who single-handedly ensured that thousands of listeners would never again look at a pair of poultry shears without a certain shudder — Continue reading

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Why Story is important to life; why SFF is important to theology

Clerk’s log, MJDate 54213.9: In honor of International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day (inspired by this discussion), I present the following. No, it’s not fiction. It’s a paper I delivered at the 2005 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. My purpose in it was to introduce science fiction and fantasy to people who were not necessarily familiar with SFF — for that matter, who may not have been familiar with fiction in general — and to show them why they should give it their attention.

I’ll warn you up front: it is not “written for the web” — no bullet points, and some great honking big paragraphs. Nonetheless, I hope you like it.


To Find the Truth, Look to the Lie: Contributions of Science Fiction and Fantasy to Theological Expression

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Posted in SFF: Writings, Theology & SFF | 5 Comments