viernes, 29 de abril de 2016

#95. El sueño de hierro. Reseña de Ursula Le Guin

No hace muchos años, o eso parece a mi edad, se reeditó en España El sueño de hierro de Norman Spinrad (1972). Esta novela es conocida por tener como autor implícito a un Adolf Hitler que, en un universo paralelo, se ha visto obligado a emigrar a los Estados Unidos y ganarse la vida primero como ilustrador y luego como escritor de ciencia-ficción. La ficción imaginada por el Hitler alternativo combina inquietantemente una alegoría del ascenso del nazismo con lugares comunes, iconografía y mecanismos argumentales de la literatura de CF y fantasía. Y lo inquietante, lo problemático, es que no se distingue dónde acaba lo uno y empieza lo otro.

En el momento de su publicación, doña Ursula escribió la siguiente reseña.

Ursula K. Le Guin (1973). On Norman Spinrad's "The Iron Dream". Science Fiction Studies 1, 41-44.

Años después, es igualmente conocido, Spinrad volvió al tema en el siguiente texto publicado en Asimov's en 1988 y que también ha aparecido varias veces en español.

Norman Spinrad (2009). El Emperador de todas las cosas., 6 de enero de 2009.

Y, por seguir leyendo, otro comentario sobre El sueño de hierro y El emperador de todas las cosas es el siguiente.

David Forbes (2014). The Iron Dream: Why "Hitler's" 1970s sci-fi novel still matters. The Airship, 5 de junio de 2014.

martes, 26 de abril de 2016

Some comments on the 2016 Hugo nominations

De nuevo, el que tenga la suerte de no perder el tiempo con esto no se enterará de la cosa.

A ver si puedo retomar el blog cuando acaben las clases.

I'll admit to following the Hugo thing with some attention. It's like reality TV in that it's a self-embarrassing waste of time, but with a sort of fannish twist. Like reality fighting-over-award-rockets.

This year's Hugo nominations were announced a few hours ago. Many people will cover the facts in the next hours, and probably will check their numbers before doing so.

1 No awarders

No awarders face a very unstimulating ballot filling experience, as they will only have a choice in three categories (I'll count the Campbell as another category even if not a Hugo blah blah talking talking). These are Editor Long Form, Editor Short Form, and Fan Artist.

Nine categories are entirely made of RP or SP listees, and other four and the Campbell have only one person neither in the RP nor in the SP lists.

If people tended to their own arguments on how it was a moral imperative to no-award RP and SP listees, 14 categories would already be decided by now, including, may I say, all those that have the slightest importance. How is it that I imagine we will soon be instructed how the moral imperative was another all along and we have always been at war with Eastasia. Sigh.

2 Rabid Puppies

RP2 has 63 out of their 81 candidates in the list. That means 63 of the 85 possible slots.

They have conquered 6 categories. Vox Day included popular works in some categories, which are not these.

It seems safe to say no award will be given in those six categories, which is already a victory for Day even if most are not `important' (Short Story, though, specially after being no-awarded last year). Due to his mixed attack, he may be able to claim further victories by having award winners in the non-burnt categories were he planted popular works.

Even further victories may be claimed by being decisive in non-RP nominees being awarded (like Best Novel last year).

Apart from all that, Vox Day succeded in getting these works into the ballot:

SJWs Always Lie: Its being no-awarded will be free publicity and free social capital points for Vox Day beyond the SF sphere. It will also make an interesting chapter in SJWs Always Double Down. Maybe Chapter 5.

Space Butt Raptor Invasion: Oh that must be hurting.

My Little Pony Anti-SJW-Communist-Whatever Parable: I guess we can't expect a maraud of bronies breaking in in sufficient numbers to prevent this from being no-awarded, but wouldn't it be funny. It's possible though that enough of them stay for next year's nomination.

Daniel Ennes's and Moyra Greyland's pieces: This will be truly destructive whatever happens, specially a media shitstorm is likely to ensue if they are no-awarded. The least-damage solution is to have Greyland win; we can therefore bet safely that Fans, CHORFs, or whatever you call them will see that it doesn't happen.

It's very improbable that the disturbing File 770 discussions of Ennes's multi-part piece haven't already been archived and quote-mined.

It looks likely that Vox Day will succeed in bringing in new people to be abused and therefore join his ranks.

3 Sad Puppies

The SP4 longlist got 38 nomination slots. If one only considers the Top 5, which makes no sense, 32 out of 76 names there got nominated.

If one groups the RP and SP listees, which equally makes no sense, only 13 out of all 85 nominees are out of both lists. That seems to mean that 34 nominees are only RP, 9 only SP, and 29 are RP+SP.

However, since 10 candidates were listed in most SP4 categories, that overlap is not indicative of anything. It's clear that some taste overlap exists, and that some RP sympathisers proposed nominations for the SP list (as is evidenced by the presence of Space Butt and My Little Pony therein).

SP delivered what was promised, and should be considered a successful albeit numerically irrelevant campaign. The high nomination turnout (roughly twice last year's) is a big win for SP, although obviously the merit remains with RP1 much more than SP4. Remember the SP position is that if big numbers of people are brought in, they will obviously have the same tastes as them.

4 SJWs

SJWs have been shunned out of the nominations but, like past year, have the advantage of having clear nominees to focus on.

5 Alastair Reynolds

It looks plausible that Reynolds will renounce his nomination, doesn't it? At least he'll receive a number of emails explaining how his doing so might potentially `save' the category by jumpstarting a non-RP nominee.

Of course, other people will be playing the virtue signalling card as well, possibly more than last year.