MT VOID 04/30/99 (Vol. 17, Number 44)

MT VOID 04/30/99 (Vol. 17, Number 44)

@@@@@ @   @ @@@@@    @     @ @@@@@@@   @       @  @@@@@ @@@@@ @@@
  @   @   @ @        @ @ @ @    @       @     @   @   @   @   @  @
  @   @@@@@ @@@@     @  @  @    @        @   @    @   @   @   @   @
  @   @   @ @        @     @    @         @ @     @   @   @   @  @
  @   @   @ @@@@@    @     @    @          @      @@@@@ @@@@@ @@@

Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
Club Notice - 04/30/99 -- Vol. 17, No. 44

Table of Contents

Outside events: The Science Fiction Association of Bergen County meets on the second Saturday of every month in Upper Saddle River; call 201-447-3652 for details.

Chair/Librarian: Mark Leeper, 732-817-5619,
Factotum: Evelyn Leeper, 732-332-6218,
Distinguished Heinlein Apologist: Rob Mitchell,
HO Chair Emeritus: John Jetzt,
HO Librarian Emeritus: Nick Sauer,
Back issues at
All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted.

Hugo Award Nominations:

This year's Hugo nominations have been announced. The large number of categories with six or seven nominations instead of the usual five is due to the unusually small number of nominating ballots--this leads to a higher probability of ties.

It is expected that most, if not all, of the short fiction will be available on-line shortly. Links will be provided here in a week or two when the dust settles.

Best Novel
   - CHILDREN OF GOD, Mary Doria Russell (Villard)
   - DARWINIA, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
   - DISTRACTION, Bruce Sterling (Bantam Spectra)
   - FACTORING HUMANITY, Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)
   - TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG, Connie Willis (Bantam Spectra)

Best Novella
   - "Aurora in Four Voices", Catherine Asaro (Analog, Dec 1998)
   - "Get Me to the Church On Time", Terry Bisson (Asimov's, May 1998)
   - "Oceanic", Greg Egan (Asimov's, Aug 1998)
   - "Story of Your Life", Ted Chiang (Starlight 2, Tor, Nov 1998)
   - "The Summer Isles", Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 1998)

Best Novelette
   - "Divided by Infinity", Robert Charles Wilson (Starlight 2, Tor,
     Nov 1998)
   - "Echea", Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov's, Jul 1998)
   - "The Planck Dive", Greg Egan (Asimov's, Feb 1998)
   - "Steamship Soldier on the Information Front", Nancy Kress
     (Future Histories 1997; Asimov's, Apr 1998)
   - "Taklamakan", Bruce Sterling (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 1998)
   - "Time Gypsy", Ellen Klages (Bending the Landscape:
     Science Fiction Overlook, Sep 1998)
   - "Zwarte Piet's Tale", Allen Steele (Analog, Dec 1998)

Best Short Story
   - "Cosmic Corkscrew", Michael A. Burstein (Analog, Jun 1998)
   - "Maneki Neko", Bruce Sterling (F&SF, May 1998)
   - "Radiant Doors", Michael Swanwick (Asimov's, Sep 1998)
   - "The Very Pulse of the Machine", Michael Swanwick (Asimov's,
     Feb 1998)
   - "Whiptail", Robert Reed (Asimov's, Oct/Nov 1998)
   - "Wild Minds", Michael Swanwick (Asimov's, May 1998)

Best Related Book
     CONQUERED THE WORLD, Thomas M. Disch (The Free Press)
     (Kent State University Press)
     Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books)
     AND GUIDE, Richard A. Hauptmann (The NESFA Press)

Best Dramatic Presentation
   - BABYLON 5: "Sleeping in Light"

Best Professional Editor
   - Gardner Dozois
   - Scott Edelman
   - David G. Hartwell
   - Patrick Nielsen Hayden
   - Stanley Schmidt
   - Gordon Van Gelder

Best Professional Artist
   - Jim Burns
   - Bob Eggleton
   - Donato Giancola
   - Don Maitz
   - Nick Stathopoulos
   - Michael Whelan

Best Semiprozine
   - Interzone, David Pringle, ed.
   - Locus, Charles N. Brown, ed.
   - The New York Review of Science Fiction, Kathryn Cramer,
     Ariel Hameon, David G. Hartwell & Kevin Maroney, eds.
   - Science Fiction Chronicle, Andrew I. Porter, ed.
   - Speculations, Kent Brewster, ed.

Best Fanzine
   - Ansible, Dave Langford, ed.
   - File 770, Mike Glyer, ed.
   - Mimosa, Richard & Nikki Lynch, eds.
   - Plotka, Alison Scott & Steve Davies, eds.
   - Tangent, David A. Truesdale, ed.
   - Thyme, Alan Stewart, ed.

Best Fan Writer
   - Bob Devney
   - Mike Glyer
   - Dave Langford
   - Evelyn C. Leeper
   - Maureen Kincaid Speller

Best Fan Artist
   - Freddie Baer
   - Brad Foster
   - Ian Gunn
   - Teddy Harvia
   - Joe Mayhew
   - D. West

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (Not a Hugo)
   - Kage Baker*
   - Julie E. Czerneda*
   - Nalo Hopkinson*
   - Susan R. Matthews*
   - James Van Pelt*

     * denotes second year of eligibility


I woke up this morning early. I lay in bed a little while but could not get back to sleep. Pity. I would like to sleep a little later on the weekends. I just am by nature an early riser. When I looked at the clock it was 6am. That really is too early to get up on a Sunday morning.

I did get up and went into the kitchen. There was a sort of rhythmic thrum, thruming. "The slaves are up early this morning," I thought. "They are making fresh bread for breakfast." And indeed it was true. My slave was kneading the dough for a loaf of French bread. It felt downright ante-bellum to have my slave get up early in the morning and make me some fresh bread. What was different between me now and the GONE WITH THE WIND South was that my slave did not mind getting up early. My slave did not know or care anything. I could take a hammer to my slave and my slave would not mind a bit. That is just the way my slave is made. My slave is made up of a motor and a heating element and some silicon chips. None of that stuff has any consciousness. I don't need to care about any of that or waking it up early. The difference between me and Katie Scarlett O'Hara is that I use a piece of machinery that I don't have to worry about and Scarlett used a human being that she was taught she did not have to worry about. And so we condemn her and her way of life. And as Lincoln might say, "It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do so. But in a larger sense ..."

But in a larger sense what Scarlett and I want are the same things. What she wants is fresh bread for breakfast and what I want is fresh bread for breakfast. I just prefer the way I do it. And I can't say for sure, but I bet you a nickel that if she were given the choice, she would also prefer to have a mechanical bread maker wake up at five in the morning to make her fresh bread. It is really easy for me to pass judgement on Scarlett, and I do so with only this one qualm. She and I want the same things. She just lived in a time when the only way to get fresh bread for breakfast was by inconveniencing another human being. It is easy for me to condemn her ... over breakfast ... with fresh bread.

Throughout history there have been powerful people who have wanted to live in a certain standard of luxury. Kings, emperors, potentates have wanted things to just be nice for them. If summer is two hot or winter is too cold they might have the peasants build two palaces for them. One is a summer palace in some cool place; the other is a winter palace so they would not have to suffer too much from the cold. What percentage of Americans do not control the temperature inside their houses these days? We condemn human slavery and consider it immoral, but we know we cannot have it legally and technology has come to the point where we don't need it. If it was socially acceptable and the only way we could be comfortable, I am afraid there would be backsliding. In fact, that is just what is happening in Sudan.

But we are a rich country and--more to the point--we are a technologically advanced country. We can afford slaves made out of plastic and metal and silicon. We complain about social conditions, but it is good to keep a perspective that most of the poor of today live a lot better than the wealthy of just a century ago. There are those among us who dislike technology. Someone I know has told me that he would prefer to be living in some previous age. As it happens he is a diabetic who could not be living in a previous age, he could only be dying in a previous age. His house has a thermostat and an automatic furnace and electrical wiring and he has a gasoline-driven car. Just a century ago his lifestyle would have been fairly uncomfortable. Society then could afford to have just a handful of people who did live so comfortably. My friend does not realize it, but he can live like a person of a previous age when he wants. He could, but he has to give up considerably more of his modern conveniences than he realizes he uses. He lives more than he realizes like a slaveholder of a century ago. [-mrl]

                                   Mark Leeper
                                   HO 1J-621 732-817-5619

Quote of the Week:

     The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience
     is a delight to moralists--that is why they
     invented hell.
                                   -- Bertrand Russell