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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

2018 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.


This category should be fairly self explanatory. For a while, it could have been called "Best Doctor Who Episode, but this year it's The Good Place that has multiple entries.


  • Black Mirror: “USS Callister,” written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker, directed by Toby Haynes (House of Tomorrow) - I have been hearing about this episode for ages, but am not a Black Mirror fan. Having now watched it, I just don't get why so many people recommended it. Yes, it's Star Trek, but there are far better parodies. The Black Mirror episode on last year's ballot was a far more successful story.


  • The Deep [song], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes) - Daveed Diggs' band making another appearance on the ballot with this track. This track is an Afrofuturist tale originally created for an episode of This American Life. I like this quite a bit.


  • Doctor Who: “Twice Upon a Time,” written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay (BBC Cymru Wales) - I wandered away from Who after a couple of seasons of failing to appreciate Moffat. This episode is both the end of his reign and the first appearance of Jodi Whittaker in her new role as the Doctor. I also haven't watched it and am just going to leave it off of my ballot. Though I totally plan to pick up the doctor again in the new season.


  • The Good Place: “Michael’s Gambit,” written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television) - This series was so much fun, we watching the first season in 3 days. So very watchable, and this episode I cannot even talk about.


  • The Good Place: “The Trolley Problem,” written by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, directed by Dean Holland (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television) - Unfortunately, this is still a Hulu exclusive and I am not a Hulu subscriber. I'm just going to leave it off my ballot.


  • Star Trek: Discovery: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” written by Aron Eli Coleite & Jesse Alexander, directed by David M. Barrett (CBS Television Studios). I finally found a friend with CBS All Access, and we binged the whole season in 2 episodes. I loved the season, but felt this was one of the weaker episodes. Still, a weak episode in this gonzo series is pretty good.


So, I'm thinking "Michael's Gambit" at the top of the ballot, followed by the ST: Disco episode. The Deep in third, and nothing else on the ballot? Yeah, that feels like the best option.