Sunday, June 24, 2018

'Get Out' wins Bradbury Award plus my take on the Retro Hugo nominees

For this week's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm being a good environmentalist and recycling 'Get Out' wins Ray Bradbury Award at the Nebula Awards at my Dreamwidth journal.
On Crazy Eddie's Motie News in February, I posted 'Get Out,' 'Logan,' and 'The Shape of Water' among nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation and made a prediction.
Based on which the screenwriters have nominated for the WGA Awards as well as the Oscars, the real contenders are "Get Out," which won Best Original Screenplay at the WGA Awards and is nominated for an Oscar, "The Shape of Water," which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at both the WGA Awards and the Academy Awards, and "Logan," which was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at both the WGA Awards and the Academy Awards.  If the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America follow the lead of the WGA and the Writers Branch of the Motion Picture Academy, "Get Out" would be the favorite, followed by "Logan" and "The Shape of Water."
Earlier today, The Verge reported on the Nebula Award winners, writing "Jordan Peele’s film Get Out won the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation...."  My prediction came true!
This news is two months old, but I'm posting it here because the 2018 Saturn Awards will be presented this coming Wednesday, June 27, and "Get Out" is nominated for Best Film Writing, but also because I stumbled across some news about the other prestigious science fiction awards, the Hugo Awards.  Follow over the jump for an update involving the Retro-Hugo Awards.

It turns out that I made a serious omission in my listing of this year's Hugo nominees for dramatic presentation, this year's nominations for the Retro-Hugos, honoring the best science fiction of 1942.  Fortunately, File 770 reported on those, so here they are, along with my opinions about them.
Best Fan Writer

    Forrest J Ackerman
    Jack Speer
    Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
    Harry Warner, Jr.
    Art Widner
    Donald A. Wollheim

Best Fanzine

    Futurian War Digest, edited by J. Michael Rosenblum
    Inspiration, edited by Lynn Bridges
    The Phantagraph, edited by Donald A. Wollheim
    Spaceways, edited by Harry Warner, Jr.
    Voice of the Imagi-Nation, edited by Forrest J Ackerman and Morojo
    Le Zombie, edited by Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker
My picks would be between Forrest J Ackerman and his fanzine Voice of the Imagi-Nation and Donald A. Wollheim and The Phantagraph.  Ackerman was a bigger name in fandom while Wollheim eventually became a professional writer.  If I were a Hugo voter, which I'm not, I'd split the difference by voting Wollheim as the better writer and Ackerman's fanzine as the better publication.
Best Professional Artist

    Hannes Bok
    Margaret Brundage
    Edd Cartier
    Virgil Finlay
    Harold W. McCauley
    Hubert Rogers
I hadn't heard of any of these people, but when I looked them up, I found I had already made the acquaintance of Margaret Brundage's work.  That written, I'd be inclined to vote for Virgil Finlay.
Best Editor – Short Form

    John W. Campbell
    Oscar J. Friend
    Dorothy McIlwraith
    Raymond A. Palmer
    Malcolm Reiss
    Donald A. Wollheim
Between John W. Campbell and Wollheim, I'd vote for Campbell.  I started reading Analog just at the end of his career, so I have been familiar with his work for nearly 50 years.

Now for the nominees I really care about.
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form

    Bambi, written by Perce Pearce, Larry Morey, et al., directed by David D. Hand et al. (Walt Disney Productions)
    Cat People, written by DeWitt Bodeen, directed by Jacques Tourneur (RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.)
    The Ghost of Frankenstein, written by W. Scott Darling, directed by Erle C. Kenton (Universal Pictures)
    I Married a Witch, written by Robert Pirosh and Marc Connelly, directed by RenĂ© Clair (Cinema Guild Productions / Paramount Pictures)
    Invisible Agent, written by Curtis Siodmak, directed by Edwin L. Marin (Frank Lloyd Productions / Universal Pictures)
    Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, written by Laurence Stallings, directed by Zoltan Korda (Alexander Korda Films, Inc. / United Artists)
Out of all these, I'd vote for "Bambi."  Now only is it the one I'm most familiar with, it's also the one I think has stood the test of time.  After that, I might think "Cat People" would have the best chance.

Before I move to literature nominees, I note that all the nominees are "short form."  Today, that is reserved for television episodes or musical recordings.  All of the nominees for dramatic presentation are movies, but they are also all less than 90 minutes.  That's the cutoff for short form, which is why "Westworld" wasn't nominated last year; the first season's best episode was 90 minutes long and why these six movies qualify for the short form category.

Now, on to literature.
Best Short Story

    “Etaoin Shrdlu,” by Fredric Brown (Unknown Worlds, February 1942)
    “Mimic,” by Martin Pearson (Donald A. Wollheim) (Astonishing Stories, December 1942)
    “Proof,” by Hal Clement (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1942)
    “Runaround,” by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1942)
    “The Sunken Land,” by Fritz Leiber (Unknown Worlds, February 1942)
    “The Twonky,” by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner (Astounding Science Fiction, September 1942)
I wouldn't be surprised if Issac Asimov, Hal Clement, or Fritz Leiber won, but my choice would be "Mimic."  That was a well-written scary story!
Best Novelette

    “Bridle and Saddle,” by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, June 1942)
    “Foundation,” by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1942)
    “Goldfish Bowl,” by Anson MacDonald (Robert A. Heinlein) (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1942)
    “The Star Mouse,” by Fredric Brown (Planet Stories, Spring 1942)
    “There Shall Be Darkness,” by C.L. Moore (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1942)
    “The Weapon Shop,” by A.E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, December 1942)
"Foundation" is my choice and the one I think will win.
Best Novella

    “Asylum,” by A.E. van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction, May 1942)
    “The Compleat Werewolf,” by Anthony Boucher (Unknown Worlds, April 1942)
    “Hell is Forever,” by Alfred Bester (Unknown Worlds, August 1942)
    “Nerves,” by Lester del Rey (Astounding Science Fiction, September 1942)
    “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag,” by John Riverside (Robert A. Heinlein) (Unknown Worlds, October 1942)
    “Waldo,” by Anson MacDonald (Robert A. Heinlein) (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1942)
This is a first-rate field, out of which I'd vote for "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag."
Best Novel

    Beyond This Horizon, by Anson MacDonald (Robert A. Heinlein) (Astounding Science Fiction, April & May 1942)
    Darkness and the Light, by Olaf Stapledon (Methuen / S.J.R. Saunders)
    Donovan’s Brain, by Curt Siodmak (Black Mask, September-November 1942)
    Islandia, by Austin Tappan Wright (Farrar & Rinehart)
    Second Stage Lensmen, by E. E. “Doc” Smith (Astounding Science Fiction, November 1941 to February 1942)
    The Uninvited, by Dorothy Macardle (Doubleday, Doran / S.J.R. Saunders)
My choice would be "Beyond This Horizon" followed by "Second Stage Lensman."  My first favorite author in science fiction was Heinlein, so of course I'd pick two of his works in the last two categories.

Enough fantasy, in the case of the dramatic presentation nominees, quite literally.  I'll return to reality tomorrow with the first of two follow-ups to Part 1B of Toys R Us, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse — Bright Sun Films.  Stay tuned.

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