Episode 136: On Benchmarks, Budrys and awards

In amongst life’s many demands, the intrepid Coode Street team, madly humming the theme to the Muppet Show, once again ascended to the Waldorf Room to take in the view and to discuss science fiction’s many pleasures. This time they touch on a new collection of Algis Budrys reviews, Benchmarks Continued, recently published by Ansible Publications, criticism generally, and the newly released Nebula Awards ballot. As always, they hope you enjoy the podcast!

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3 thoughts on “Episode 136: On Benchmarks, Budrys and awards”

  1. Hi Guys, sorry about the late appearance. I was at a convention over the weekend and am just catching up.

    The answers to your questions are “probably not” and “not yet”.

    Gary: Seven Beauties did indeed get put forward for an extension under the limited availability rule. The point that was made there was that, although the official publication date was 2008, it didn’t actually get sent out until 2009. In the case of Benchmarks Continued it would be difficult to argue that a book that was easily available for purchase over the internet and was reviewed on io9 was in any way of limited availability.

    Jonathan: The book is officially published in the UK, so it could benefit from an eligibility extension if it is subsequently published in the USA. However, it needs to get that US publication first. And of course that particular rule is required to be ratified annually, so I can’t guarantee that it will be in force should a US publication happen.

    While I’m here, Gary seemed to be a bit confused about movies. There has never been a Hugo for Best Script, though scriptwriters are often the only people who care to collect the award. There used to be a Nebula for Best Script. That was last awarded in 2009. The Bradbury, which is apparently Not A Nebula, was first awarded in 2010.

    I can’t speak for SFWA, but as far as discussion within WSFS goes, while there are still die-hards who insist that the Hugos are only for writing, most people accept that voting on movies, TV, etc.is done on the basis of the total package, not just the script. The influence of the director, actors, special effects team and so on has an enormous effect on the perceived quality of the production, and it would be wrong to give the award just to the script.

  2. Adding to Cheryl’s comment: In most cases, the Hugo voting audience isn’t in a *position* to judge “the script”, because screenplays are usually not published, and almost no script reaches the screen unchanged. I believe that when the Nebula was for best Script, the voters actually could get copies of the nominated scripts in some cases.

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