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|Wednesday, December 11th, 2013|
|SAG, AFI Honor THRONES
It's been a great week for GAME OF THRONES in Hollywood, with both the Screen Actor's Guild and the American Film Institute bestowing honors and recognition on the HBO series, and some of the folk who work so hard to make it great.
SAG announced the nominees for its annual awards this morning. I'm thrilled to say that the cast of GAME OF THRONES are nominated as Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Drama, on a shortlist that also includes our familiar rivals BOARDWALK EMPIRE, BREAKING BAD, DOWNTON ABBEY, and HOMELAND. The guild members also nominated our fearless stuntmen and stuntmen for Outstanding Action Performance by Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series. BOARDWALK EMPIRE, BREAKING BAD, and HOMELAND are up in that category as well, along with THE WALKING DEAD. And Peter Dinklage, our once and future Tyrion Lannister, was nominated as Best Actor in a Television Drama. He will vie for the award against Steve Buscemi (BOARDWALK EMPIRE), Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD), Jeff Daniels (THE NEWSROOM), and Kevin Spacey (HOUSE OF CARDS).
For a full list of the nominees, go to:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/11/sag-awards-2014_n_4422434.html
The SAG nominations follow close on the heels of AFI's annual announcement, recognizing their ten favorite films and television shows of the previous year. GAME OF THRONES made the list for the third year in a row. The AFI recognition is especially nice since it has no winners and no losers; all ten of the chosen films and television shows share the recognition.
AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
AFI AWARDS 2013 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
12 YEARS A SLAVE
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
SAVING MR. BANKS
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
GAME OF THRONES
THE GOOD WIFE
HOUSE OF CARDS
MASTERS OF SEX
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Tomorrow the Golden Globe nominations will be announced, and we'll see if the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will make us three for three. Keep your fingers crossed. Current Mood: happy
|Day of the (Belated) Doctor
This has been hanging around on my hard drive waiting for me to come up with a constructive argument - but nothing has materialised so I may as well post first thoughts, such as they are, and bearing in mind that I slept through lots of this (and never did catch up by watching the repeats as intended).
Nothing spoilerific at this date.( Cut for lengthCollapse )This entry was originally posted at http://inamac.dreamwidth.org/82380.html. You may comment here or there (or not). Current Mood: apathetic
|Wednesday Quick Notes
A few years ago, my boss instructed me to write a two-page film treatment of one of our novels, All You Need Is Kill
, to help our LA office VIZ Productions maybe sell it to the movies. Well, a few million bucks and five screenwriters (including a $3m payday for Dante Harper for the initial spec script, which was actually fairly close to the book) and innumerable drafts and then Tom Cruise's input and some reshoots and the introduction of new characters and a name change, we have this:
It's not terrible. Pretty neat, actually. Less boom-boom than I was worried about. I joked on the dayjob blog that rather than "based on All You Need Is Kill
", we might say that the film is "thematically adjacent to All You Need Is Kill
." Yes, it's whitewashed, but given the sales of the books and the orders coming in for the mass-market tie-in edition, the film remains a great commercial for the novel!
In other news, I have a new essay up on BullSpec, about my new novel Love Is the Law
(which is under eight bucks, and fits in Christmas stockings, btw), in which I explain why it's actually like The Alchemist
There's some big, big anthology news around these here parts!
First up, and most outside my usual wheelhouse, I am pleased to announce that my story "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War" will be appearing in the anthology Robot Uprisings
, edited by Daniel Wilson and John Joseph Adams. The book will be released April 8th, 2014, and I am super excited to be part of a lineup that includes Charles Yu and Cory Doctorow (with whom I will one day conquer the Magic Kingdom and claim it in the name of our dark forces). My story is about toys and children and the dark side of Toy Story
, and I think many of you will find it very upsetting. Yay!
On more familiar ground, we have Shattered Shields
, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, featuring a brand new Toby-verse story about the Luidaeg, set during the time of the first big Merlin War, and following Antigone of Albany as she tries to walk the line between faith and family. "The Fixed Stars" will be available November 4th, 2014.
Finally, I have been invited to be one of the contributors for The PaulandStormonomicon
, an anthology of very short stories based on and/or inspired by Paul and Storm and their songs. (I am actually very proud of being one of their contributors, since I love their music and seem to have gotten invited on the basis of saying "But what about the LADIES?" when I saw the initial contributor list. It's a small thing. I am still pleased.) The Kickstarter has already reached the level at which the book is guaranteed
, and it will be available for sale, but supporting the project is going to be the cheapest way to get it. It's like a pre-order, only not quite.
And that is today's anthology news. Look at all those pretty stories!
Glee. Current Mood: excited
|RPGs to play with your kids
I just found out about the latest Bundle of Holding, which is a collection of amazing RPGs that you can play with your kids. This is the perfect way to introduce your children to roleplaying games, and you can do it for about five bucks.
Check it out:
Adventurer! The fellowship of Friends and Family brings you a large assortment of tabletop roleplaying games especially designed to introduce young players to the joys of roleplaying. With these .PDF ebooks, parents can teach these introductory games to their kids, and the kids can learn and play some of these games all by themselves. For just US$5.95, you get all the rulebooks in our core collection as DRM-free .PDFs:
- Hero Kids: An ideal introduction to fantasy roleplaying for children aged 4 to 10.
- Mermaid Adventures: Exciting undersea adventures and strange mysteries. (Ages 6-11.)
- The Princes’ Kingdom: Young heirs to the throne of Islandia, visiting the citizens of their land and solving problems. This bundle is the first .PDF version of The Princes’ Kingdom sold anywhere! (Ages 5+, plus an adult.)
- Happy Birthday, Robot!: The charming storytelling game by Daniel Solis for families or classrooms. (Ages 9+ — and especially good for grownups.)
And if you pay more than the threshold price of $13.06, you’ll level up and receive our entire collection of bonus games:
Adventures in Oz – Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: A loving journey into the lands of L. Frank Baum. (Ages 8+.)
Camp Myth: The RPG: Third Eye’s adaptation of the Chris Lewis Carter YA novel series about mythic creatures at summer camp. (Ages 8-13.)
Project Ninja Panda Taco: Jennifer (Jennisodes) Steen’s game of competing Masterminds and their biddable Minions. (Ages 8+.)
School Daze: It’s high school the way you wish it could be. (Ages 13+.)
The Zorcerer of Zo: Chad Underkoffler’s classic game of fairy tales set in the Zantabulous Land of Zo. (Ages 5+.)
There’s just about 20 hours left on the sale, so get on this while the getting’s good, as they say in those old movies.
Random quote of the day:
“Between the psychology of the man of genius and the pathology of the insane, there are many points of coincidence; there is even continuity.”
—Cesare Lombroso, The Man of Genius, 1895
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.
Mirrored from Better Than Dead.
|White Christmas - 'Tis the Season
White Christmas (1954) opens at the European war front on Christmas Eve, 1944, with Danny Kaye’s character’s first team-up with the Bing Crosby character, who was already big star-vocalist before the war. They are putting on a show, at which they are expecting to also provide an surprise tribute to their General Waverley, who is being transferred from command of their division.
This opening is a reminder to we later generations the huge footprint WWII made for everyone who lived through it. However, here in the U.S. we would be letting go of World War II very soon, at least as a serious matter in that new media of television. Whereas, in Britain where so many of those who didn 't serve at the front served at home, suffered at worst lost loved ones, homes and livings, and at best serious shortages and deprivations, WWII is still a dramatic matter common in BBC series and other networks. *
From the front, where Corporal Danny Kay rescues Captain Bing Crosby just in time from getting killed by a bombed building wall's toppling upon him, we move to the 1954 Christmas season in Florida. Kay is now Crosby's partner in show business success piled upon success. Then it's up to Vermont, where via serious story contrivances we manage to have two romance plots running concurrently with the plot to save retired General Waverly's ski lodge, where this year, there is no snow, so no customers.
When watching that opening scene at the WWII European front, I had no idea I’d never before watched this classic. No wonder, because because my mind merged it with Holiday Inn (1942), which I did watch, finally, 2008, also starring Bing Crosby, running roughly the same story line and Bing singing Ira Berlin's "White Christmas." The significant differences are that this earlier film is in black-and-white, covers all the annual holidays, not just Christmas, and Bing's side-kick, is played by Fred Astaire as a sometimes drunk, with Bing trying to keep Fred and the Girl apart.
Unfortunately both films have minstrel numbers.
In Holiday Inn the "Abraham" number on Lincoln’s Birthday is further performed in blackface. We also see the characters 'blacking up.'
Perhaps by 1954 some Hollywood people were more sensitive -- or else this restored and released in 2004 White Christmas as streamed from netflix significantly lightened the blackface.
Whether or not the White Christmas minstrel medley -- “I'd Rather See a Minstrel Show"/"Mister Bones"/"Mandy" -- was or was not performed in blackface, all the performance gestures are straight out of the blackface minstrel performance tradition, which is equally jarring to us these days.
What White Christmas doesn’t get credit for is the quality of the dance numbers with Danny Kay partnered with Vera Ellen.
Also Kay’s* serious camping up in the duet he and Crosby reprise from the
Haynes Sisters’ (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen) nightclub act, “Me and My Sister.”
Vera Ellen may also have the tiniest waist you will ever see – putting Scarlett O’Hara’s 17 inches to shame.
White Christmas is not a great musical or a great film, but it is filled with good will for all, is enjoyable and entertaining, good-natured in a way that Holiday Inn is not. It's a lovely thing to watch on a cold, snainy (snow and rain together) dark December evening while the house fills with the rich warm aromas of dinner getting made.
* Think England's Foyle's War (2000 - present), Island At War (2004), The Hour (2011) and The Bletchley Circle (20012). In contrast what can we think of on U.S. television (as opposed to triumphist commemorative documentary) beyond such comedies as McHale's Navy 1962 - 66) or the prison camp sit com, Hogan's Heroes (1965 - 71)?
** To the great distress at the time, after Kay's death it was publicly revealed he was gay. The first months I worked at Viking my Big Boss was the sister of Danny Kay's wife. She told us magnificent stories of Broadway and that old-time NYC entertainment biz. She was way past retirement time, according to the Winners of the NAL - Penguin-Viking merger, suffered breast cancer, and was forced out, all before I was there a year.
|Things I Learned: Jessica "Decca" Mitford opened for Cyndi Lauper
So -- brief background: the Mitford sisters were six sisters of a minor aristocratic family in England, born in the early 20th century, who were celebrities partially for their style, and partially for their politics. One was a close friend of Adolph Hitler, one was a fascist, one was a novelist, one was -- actually, is -- a Duchess, one managed to actually have an uneventful enough life that she doesn't have her own Wikipedia entry, and then there was Decca Mitford -- Communist, civil-rights activist, and muckraking journalist.
I was vaguely aware that Decca Mitford is one of those people who's just plain built on too many character points, and is far too much of a Mary Sue to be believable. Fighting fascists in Spain while her sisters WERE fascists; fighting Nazis while her sisters WERE Nazis, moving to the United States to fight racism while her sisters WERE racists ... rich, beautiful, brilliant writer, wrote an expose about the American funeral industry... I kind of vaguely knew that stuff, or, at least, wouldn't have been startled by it.
But did you know that she opened for Cyndi Lauper once? It's all Kathi Kamen Goldmark's fault, of course: Goldmark was the genius behind the Rock Bottom Remainders, the band that includes Stephen King, Amy Tan, Roy Blount Jr, and Dave Barry. At Goldmark's urging, Mitford formed "Decca and the Dectones" -- a band who played covers of Beatles tunes on cowbell and kazoo.
And, yeah. There was a free concert on the roof of Virgin Records in San Francisco, for which Lauper was the headliner. And Decca and the Dectones were one of the opening acts.
|Reptile volant et la Dame
Outside, where the sun has not yet touched, there's a thin frosting of snow. It'll be gone as soon as the cold sun finds it. Winter eats its own. Currently, 29˚F here in Providence, but the ever helpful windchill means it feels 18˚F. In the South, we'd call this goddamn cold.
Yesterday I intended to get Sirenia Digest
#94 together and out to subscribers. But then Kathryn and I spent the afternoon on more edits to "Mote[L] 2032." It's one of those pieces I'll never truly believe is finished. It can always be made just a little bit better. sovay —
kindly read the story for me yesterday. The Drowning Girl: A Memoir
was like that. Peter Straub finally had to tell me to stop working on it. Anyway, today I am
going to put the issue together.
Yesterday was also spent removing more books from my office, and reorganizing what remains. I'm estimating that approximately five hundred books have left this room. I'm finally nearing the end of that whittling away, and now I just have to get all the books I'm discarding out of the house. There are still several boxes to be considered by Paper Nautilus, and the rest will likely go to local libraries to do with as they will. Just so long as the books are not here, I don't care. If I can get everything done today I mean to get done, tomorrow we'll be taking two empty bookcases to the storage place in Pawtucket, and we should be able to shelve most of the eBay stock (hundreds of authors copies of my books from both Subterranean Press and Penguin). Slowly, progress is being made, and it feels good to be lightening the load.
If you have not already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions
. The BIG-ASS
XMAS EBAY BLOWOUT
, remember? In particular, I draw your attention to this auction
: Letter O from the lettered edition of Tales from the Woeful Platypus
, which comes with a handmade by Spooky beanie platypus. Well, actually, it's a ricey platypus, as it's filled with rice, not beans.
Last night we finally
were able to see Luc Besson's Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec
! I'd only been waiting since fucking 2010. It's a marvelous film. Besson and some of his longtime collaborators – Eric Serra, Thierry Arbogast, etc. – have surely done Jacques Tardi's comic justice. I'm a great fan of Besson's The Fifth Element
(1997), and in many ways Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec
feels like a companion piece to that film. It shares much the same style, and, of course, both have roots in French comics.* The cast is superb, especially Louise Bourgoin in the title role. So, yes. See this film if you possibly can. It's now out on DVD and Blu-ray, and it's worth owning. Do not watch it dubbed!
Okay. I just got an email from my editor reminding me that, this morning, I have to go over some layouts for the forthcoming Dark Horse reprint of the Alabaster prose collection
. I truly do wonder how grand publishing must have been in the days before email...
Better Than Yesterday,
* As much as I loathe Japanese manga, I love la bande dessinée franco-belge. Current Mood: well...
|Nicole Stark’s Survey of Harassment Policies at Fan Conventions
After I posted my Convention Harassment Policy Starter Kit, I learned about a study Nicole Stark had done about harassment policies at fan conventions. Stark’s article is available on Google Docs, here. I’ve seen a fair amount of discussion on harassment policies and why we do or don’t need to worry about them, but this is the first example I’ve seen of a more rigorous academic survey and discussion of harassment policies. Stark gave me permission to link to her paper, and to discuss some of the highlights.
From the abstract:
This study uses content analysis to evaluate a sample of 288 fan convention websites. These conventions took place within the United States from March to November 2013. The analysis was used to determine how common sexual harassment policies are and their characteristics. This study examined both frequencies and descriptions of codes of conduct, including promoted and prohibited rules, sanctions, reporting guidelines, and the existence of a sexual harassment or general harassment policy. Less than half of the sample contained any behavioral policy at all. Those behavioral policies that were present were found to be generally informal, unstructured, and devoid of a sexual harassment policy. However, many policies contained rules that could be used in the prevention of sexual harassment. These rules, when made clear and recognizable, may work as effective policy in informal spaces. (Page 2)
Stark opens by discussing an instance of sexual harassment from New York Comic Con, and goes on to note that:
A study on sexual harassment policy in manufacturing firms revealed that an available written policy resulted in a 76 percent reduction in one year’s reports (Moore and Bradley 1997).
In other words, to anyone arguing there’s no need for a sexual harassment policy, there is actual research showing that such a policy can significantly reduce sexual harassment.
I expect some people to protest that a convention isn’t the workplace, and that’s true. There are likely to be some differences in the dynamics and effects of a harassment policy in a convention space vs. a workplace. But the underlying premise and conclusion here is pretty straightforward: “We created a written policy on sexual harassment, and sexual harassment decreased significantly.”
I assume most people would like to see sexual harassment at conventions decrease significantly as well. Ergo, creating a written policy seems like a really basic and obvious first step.
Stark’s sample comes from the costume.org website’s list of upcoming conventions. The cons were all from 2013, all located in the U.S., and included media, anime, literary, gaming, comics, relaxicons, and more. So what did she find in her study?
Of the 288 convention websites, 59.38% had no listed policy on their website in regards to behavior or code of conduct. Less than half of all websites (40.62%) had at bare minimum, a behavioral policy explaining acceptable or unacceptable actions while at the convention. These rules ranged from a basic ‘be polite’ to lengthier explanations and examples of what was acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Of the total sample, only 3.47% used the phrase ‘sexual harassment’. However, 13.88% used the word ‘harassment’, not detailing readily available distinctions between harassments, whether sexual, bullying, or annoying otherwise.
Fewer than half of conventions have a posted policy about acceptable behavior, let alone harassment. And the policy is only the starting point; what about instructions on reporting harassment and other unacceptable behavior?
Only 15.27% (44) of the 288 convention websites contained guidelines on reporting. Of the three conventions participating in Project: Women Back Each Other Up, only one employed the use of purple ribbons to indicate female staff members who were prepared to intervene and handle potential sexual harassment. Several policies listed that if there were emergencies, to dial 911 or building security. This left 84.72% (244) of the convention websites devoid of response or guidance to potential victims.
Stark goes on to recommend:
…in evidence of the language and audience in these informal spaces, the following are suggestions for a comprehensive policy at fan conventions. The policies need to be recognizable and readily available (Moore & Bradley 1997), properly enforced, include and define sanctions, train employees for prevention and response, (Harmus & Niblock 2000), detail complaint procedure (Fowler 1996), and define sexual harassment in terms that the audience understands. (Emphasis added)
I have very little to add beyond Yes. That.
I recommend anyone interested in the ongoing conversation about sexual harassment in fandom read the full study. And my thanks to Nicole Stark for letting me link to and chat about her research here.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.