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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

2017 Hugo Ballot - Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.


Short form is for features less than 90 minutes. Typically TV episodes, but not always. I don't know if I've ever seen an album in this category before, though there has been at least one music video. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.


Black Mirror: “San Junipero” - We made it 3 episodes into the first series and just stopped. Like, mid-episode. Because every episode was too long. I'll watch this on Netflix if it's available, but if it isn't, I am just going to ignore it. 6/17/17 UPDATE: I watched this and while it is by far the best episode of Black Mirror I've seen, it still suffers from being a Black Mirror episode. Finally seeing an episode that had a story and characters I loved has helped me figure out what I don't like about this show. It isn't just that the episodes are long, it's that they all presume an audience with no knowledge of science fiction. They all spend the first half on a long, slow introduction of their premise even though they are not using particularly novel settings. 


Doctor Who: “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” - While the episodes Moffat wrote in the Davies era are some of the best individual episodes, I do not care for his style of character arcs. So I stopped watching Who a few years ago. I bailed on Sherlock as well. I know, I am the worst person because of one or both of these things. If there is a free and legal way for me to watch it, I might, but I am not aware of one. 


The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes” - Season finale of the first season of The Expanse. This is definitely a solid episode and a lot of fun for this fan of the books to see. 


Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”- Hands down, the most tedious, over-long fight sequence of the show, but also the best Sansa scene ever. After the shit show of season 5, the writers let her have some agency and own the things done to her.


Game of Thrones: “The Door” - I only remember the end of this episode? I had to look up the IMDB summary and now I'm still mostly fuzzy. The scene I remember was pretty solid, though.


Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping - Interesting, and not something I'd have come across if it hadn't been on the ballot. Hmm.


In summary, some entries were more memorable than others and I may not even watch 1 of them. So that will be fun to figure out on my ballot.