January 24th, 2016

tardis

Royal Blood, by Una McCormack

Possibly the last Twelfth Doctor / Clara novel, or at least the last we'll have for a while, this has the TARDIS arriving in a medieval-style society where knights have lasers. It's good fun, particularly the invocation of the Holy Grail quest, an interesting viewpoint character among the knights, and Clara's lines in general; there's perhaps not enough Doctor in it (though he too is well caught), and I wasn't quite sure in the end how the Glamour here fitted in with its other appearances. But a worthy addition to the shelves.
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#RetroHugos1941 Some Best Dramatic Presentation thoughts

In 2014 for the 1939 Retro Hugos, we did not have a Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) category because there were not enough nominations to make the category viable. (I confess I had not heard of most of the possible nominees.) The Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) category included four Orson Welles radio plays and a TV adaptation of R.U.R. (which cannot have been seen by very many of those nominating). The War of the Worlds scored a crushing victory, with 813 first preference votes out of 1058. But there was no cinematic representation on the final ballot - The Brave Little Tailor missed being a finalist by a single vote, and Porky in Wackyland by two.

This year it's a different matter. There are a number of viable and interesting films which could be considered by voters for the 1941 Retro Hugos. The big problem is that most of them are less than 90 minutes, which is the current boundary between the Short Form and Long Form categories. There is wiggle room of 20% either way; a lot of them could be shifted to Long Form as they are 72 minutes or more in length; or alternatively, all but Fantasia and the serials could be classed as Short Form, being less than 108 minutes in length. I guess this year's Hugo administrators will decide pragmatically, on the pattern of nominations. (We won't have this particular problem next year - there will be no Retro Hugos for 1942 because there was no Worldcon in that year.)

Steve Davidson has done us all a service by listing some potential nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation from 1940, here and here. I've been doing a little browsing and have adapted his list, in order of popularity on IMDB, as follows:

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As you know, Bob, online links to full-length films tend to have a short lifespan. I'd recommend that you have a quick look at these now, and ensure that you are able to watch the ones that interest you at your leisure. I'd be surprised if we are not able to fill out both categories of Best Dramatic Presentation this year. If you are a member of last year's Sasquan, this year's MidAmeriCon II, or next year's Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, you can nominate as long as you join by 31 January, which is a week from today; Worldcon 75's rates go up from that day too, so what are you waiting for?