2012 Hugo Award nominees announced

Last night saw the announcement of the 2012 nominees for science fiction's prestigious Hugo Award. It's a particularly fine ballot, reflecting a record number of nominating ballots (wisdom of the crowds and all that). Included on the ballot are our own moderator Avram (as part of the team that publishes The New York Review of Science Fiction) and one of my all-time favorite books, Among Others. Also noteworthy: the much-deserved John W Campbell Award nomination (for best new writer) for the fabulous Mur Lafferty, a nomination for the indispensable Science Fiction Encyclopedia, Third Edition, a nomination for IO9's Charlie Jane Anders's story Six Months, Three Days, and a fourth nomination for much-favored Fables graphic novels.

Best Novel (932 ballots) Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor) A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra) Deadline by Mira Grant (Orbit) Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan / Del Rey) Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)

Best Novella (473 ballots) Countdown by Mira Grant (Orbit) “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction November/December 2011) “Kiss Me Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov's June 2011) “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov's September/October 2011) “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse 3) Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA)

Best Novelette (499 ballots) “The Copenhagen Interpretation” by Paul Cornell (Asimov's July 2011) “Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse Four) “Ray of Light” by Brad R.

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How to sell Nokia Lumias

Here's the iPhone upgrade "choose model" page AT&T just gave me. Oh, carriers! Read the rest

Playing a delightful tune on teacups

There's not much detail in the description for this video, but the performance speaks for itself.

The Professional Tea Boy (Thanks, myiosprinter!) Read the rest

The death of arcades

Kyle Orland traces the long, slow decline of the American arcade, from cultural phenomenon to background noise at pizza parlors and movie theater lobbies—a fate that may be compared to the thriving scenes abroad. [Ars] Read the rest


Photo: "Family Dinner," a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from reway2007's photostream, shared in the BB Flickr Pool. Read the rest


"murlin, buttercup," shared in the Boing Boing Flickr pool by beckitten. Says the photographer, "My mother is documenting her pup at murlin.net if you're interested in more photos and videos of murlin." Read the rest


"Martini," by photographer JKG III (web), shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. Read the rest

Lana Del Rey Dancing (a tumblog of greatness)

Link. Pairs well with this video. (thanks, Tara McGinley!)

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Sciency, girl-positive steampunk kids' adventure novel on Kickstarter

Kyle sez, "My friend Jordan Stratford has launched his first Kickstarter (currently funded, yay!) but the idea is simply too lovely not to share. From Kickstarter:"

This is a pro-math, pro-science, pro-history and pro-literature adventure novel for and about girls, who use their education to solve problems. This is the made up story about two very real people -- Ada, the world's first computer programmer, and Mary, the world's first science fiction author. If Jane Austen wrote about zeppelins and brass goggles, this would be the book. Why "Wollstonecraft"? Mary names the detective agency after her mother, the famous feminist writer. If this is the kind of book you'd like to see, please support this project.

Wollstonecraft (Thanks, Kyle!) Read the rest

Original pitch-reel for the Muppet Show is delightfully bonkers

Here's the original, extremely bonkers pitch-reel produced for The Muppet Show, which appears on the DVD set The Muppet Show: Season One. Not shown in this clip is the finale, which the Wikia Muppet wiki describes thus: "After Leo's powerful speech, Kermit appears from off-screen against a CBS logo and shrugs, 'What the hell was that all about?'"

The Muppet Show Pitch Reel (via Kottke) Read the rest

Orbital on dance

Orbital talks vintage synths and its new album with Wired's Geeta Dayal. (It's available streaming at NME or as a fancy import CD on Amazon) Read the rest

CERN manager weighs gnome

Mike Stoor of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, weighs a gnome in the Control Room of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on April 5, 2012. A German precision scale maker sends the gnome to different scientific institutions to demonstrate that, due to gravity and the Earth not being a perfect sphere, its weight differs around the world. The gnome reportedly weighed 307.65 g (10.8520 oz), but failed to protest his captivity in the voice of U.K. comic legend Harry Enfield. Photo: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Read the rest

Thomas Kinkade, 1958-2012

Thomas Kinkade is dead at 54. He died unexpectedly of natural causes at home, reports his family. [AP] Read the rest