Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
04/05/19 -- Vol. 37, No. 40, Whole Number 2061

Co-Editor: Mark Leeper,
Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper,
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        Hugo and Retro Hugo Finalists Announced
        Pig Cereal (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
        BOOK OF MONSTERS (film review by Mark R. Leeper)
        THE PUBLIC (film review by Mark R. Leeper)
        THINGS TO COME (letter of comment by Paul Dormer)
        This Week's Reading (book sales) (book comments
                by Evelyn C. Leeper)
        Hugo Finalists
        Retro Hugo Finalists


TOPIC: Hugo and Retro Hugo Finalists Announced

The lists of these can be found at the end of this issue, after
Evelyn's book column, but before the signature and quotation.


TOPIC: Pig Cereal (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

So I am entering my local Wal-Mart and by the door they have their
special sale items.  They have boxes of cereal that for one reason
or another they have a type of cereal I have never heard of before.
Perhaps it is the pig on the label on the box.  The food
adventurers at the Post cereal company are apparently trying out a
new kind of cereal.  These are the people who created Post Grape
Nuts.  How creative.  Most of us were unaware that grapes had nuts.
(Okay, I know what you are thinking.  Wipe that smile off your
face.)  This is serious.  Post Grape Nuts is what you get when you
make a hard brick of wheat, barley, and corn.  Then you put the
brick in an industrial pulverizer and grind it down to the
consistency of road gravel or buckshot.  Then you eat it with milk
and sugar.

Now that sounds relatively normal.  The full story is not so
normal.  In any case they wanted a new cereal to celebrate National
Cereal Day.  Did you know there was a National Cereal Day?  If you
look for it in Google you will find nifty stories like this one:

"Kix cereal issued its atomic-energy inspired Lone Ranger ring in
1947.  The ring actually contained trace amounts of radioactive
polonium which glowed.  Sadly, the material inside the rings had a
short shelf life and none in existence work today.

I actually had one of those rings.  I wonder if I should talk to a

Anyway.  This year the Post cereal company plans to introduce a new
kind of cereal to be released to the public Thursday, March 7.
Actually I beat the rush and bought a package of the cereal on
March 6 from a Wal-Mart branch that apparently jumped the gun.
(Sad but true.)

What is the table flavor that you have been so sadly missing?  Now
don't everybody answer at once.  We are talking about maple and
donuts.  You can now get both flavors in a single cereal.  But
that's not all, friends.  That's not all.  The flavor you have
really been craving in your breakfast cereal is ...  bacon.  Yes
Post now has a cereal to give you the flavors of Maple, Bacon, and
Donuts in Post Maple Bacon Donuts.  Look for it in the cereal aisle
with the pig on the box.  And I would be really interested if
someone finds any other food in your grocery that has a pig on the

Now I know there are some skeptics in the crowd.  Some of you don't
believe me.  See for yourself:

Post has another such cereal, Post Chicken and Waffles.

Now if you will excuse me, I am feeling a little nauseated.  [-mrl]


TOPIC: BOOK OF MONSTERS (film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: Lots of monsters and action but not much in the way of
ideas.  Sophie, an innocent girl on the eve of her 18th birthday,
lets her friends stage a wild party in her house.  Soon there are
strangers crashing the party.  And if that were not bad enough, not
all of the strangers are of the human persuasion.  There are lots
of monsters and action but not much in the way of ideas.  It
develops that Sophie is not just any girl and she may have a
mission.  Lots of horror effects can be used to spice up a scary
movie, but they cannot sustain it.  BOOK OF MONSTERS has a lot of
gory action, but it has few original plot twists or ideas.
Directed by: Stewart Sparke; written by: Paul Butler.  Rating: high
+1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10

There is nothing wrong with a horror film being like an amusement
park ride.  But it cannot be much of a film without some original
ideas somewhere.  BOOK OF MONSTERS is little more than a series of
scenes without much thought or motivation.  Sophie (played by
Lyndsey Craine) is celebrating her 18th birthday and is inheriting
from her mother--dead ten years--a thick and ancient looking book
that is sort of a field book of supernatural monsters with useful
notes, such as how to kill such a beast.  Sophie has been obsessed
by the book but questioned it could do much good for her until on
her birthday eve she invites her friends over for a party.  And
those friends invite other friends without permission.  And
somewhere along the line some real monsters turn up for their own
ends.  Every monster woman in the cast seems intent on showing off
a big grin of sharp-looking teeth.  The monsters knock down just a
little too easily.

The film never identifies where it is taking place, but it looks
and sounds like some sort of English suburbia.  The monster design
is creative, but frequently the creatures are hard to make out
visually and suffer from the rapid-fire editing.  Still they are
images that can be effective.  The story could do with a little
more complexity.

BOOK OF MONSTERS packs scads of gory action, but it has few
original plot twists or ideas.  The creature design is sometimes
scary but too often it is hard to make out detail on the monster
and the film is ready to be forgotten when the end credits roll.
The creature design is sometimes scary but too often hard to make
out.  Actually, this film has the feeling of a pilot for a series
much like that of BUFFY in which Sophie and her friends would
continue to fight supernatural invaders.  I rate the film a high +1
on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10.

The film is already on disk and streaming.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:



TOPIC: THE PUBLIC (film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: Emilio Estevez writes, directs, produces, and plays the
main character in this story of homeless people in Cincinnati who
want to avoid freezing on a record cold night.  They shelter in a
public library.  The incident becomes a news story of national
proportions.  The film has a respectable cast including Estevez,
Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone Christian Slater, Jeffrey Wright, and
Michael Kenneth Williams.  It is a comedy/drama but the toward the
end, the drama outweighs the comedy.  Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or

Public libraries are created to serve the public.  However, it is
not always clear what policies would best serve the public's needs.

It is a record cold winter in downtown Cincinnati.  Public shelters
from the cold are filled up beyond capacity.  The cold could likely
be deadly for a troop of the homeless dwellers to risk hypothermia
on the streets over night, so instead they turn the library into an
ad hoc homeless shelter.  This is certainly not what the city feels
is the purpose for library facilities.  These are the people the
city neglects.  These are the mentally ill, recently impoverished,
and the disenfranchised.  The troop of the homeless refuses to
leave the building and go out into the possibly deadly cold.  Their
leader is an eloquent spokesman, Jackson (played by Michael Kenneth

Elsewhere we have people posturing for the center of attention for
political grist from the incident.

THE PUBLIC initially seems like a comedy-drama with the accent on
the drama.  The humor comes mostly from the ignorant questions and
requests that come from library users.  In the second half the
whimsical side of library work was mostly lost.  Soon, however, the
whimsy drains out and the incident becomes a media and political
football. The film takes on the tone and follows the path of a DOG
DAY AFTERNOON (1975) with the same sort of standoff.

Acting honors go to Michael Kenneth Williams as the leader of the
homeless revolt.  Actress Jena Malone seems like an old friend
after she shared a lead role with Jodie Foster in CONTACT (1997).
Also featured are Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, and Jeffrey

I rate THE PUBLIC a low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10. (Watching the film,
I asked myself whether the Cincinnati Public Library actually has
that much open space.  I looked it up in Google-images.  I admit
it.  The place looks cavernous.)

Release date: April 5, 2019.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:



TOPIC: THINGS TO COME (letter of comment by Paul Dormer)

In response to Mark's comments on THINGS TO COME in the 03/29/19
issue of the MT VOID, Paul Dormer writes:

[Mark wrote,] "Most of the special effects are done with model work
that still looks futuristic today.  Most existing copies of the
film have very poor sound quality and it is difficult to understand
the actors, but TCM has a good copy.  The musical score has become
a classic piece of orchestral concept music."  [-mrl]

It's not just the sound quality that makes it difficult to
understand the actors.  English accents have changed over the last
eighty years and some of the dialogue sounds strange to modern
ears.  The little girl talking to her grandfather about life in the
old days speaks with a refined upper-class accent that I don't
think anyone would use today and sounds very funny to me.

I remember hearing a radio documentary about the music for THINGS
TO COME some years ago.  Wells insisted that Arthur Bliss wrote the
music first and the film would be shot to accompany the music.
This turned out to be impossible, but the music had been recorded.
The concert suite had even already been performed before the film
came out.  For the montage showing the building of the modern
world, there was a man whose job it was to go through the music and
every time there was a jarring key change, he dub a loud cymbal
clash to cover it.  [-pd]

Mark responds:

You can heare the score performed at



TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

As they say, "In spring, an old lady's fancy turns to book sales."
(Or something like that--you know how the memory gets at my age.)
Three weeks ago was the Bryn Mawr-Wellesley book sale.  Two weeks
ago was the East Brunswick Friends of the Library had their sale--
and a sad contrast it was.  Bryn Mawr's books filled a gymnasium and
three other large rooms; East Brunswick was six tables, each about
twenty feet long and six rows of books wide.  Much of the East
Brunswick sale was library discards, yet the prices were no lower
than for the books in much better condition at Bryn Mawr, and were
often higher.  (Two dollars for a library discard DVD is not really
in line with current prices; the Middletown Library, for example,
charges $1 for donated DVDs, but only 50 cents for library
discards.)  And while in past years they had Teaching Company and
Modern Scholar courses, there were none of those.

In spite of this, we did manage to find a few things.  We had had
seven seasons of C.S.I.; we found three that filled in the gaps,
giving us all of the first ten seasons.  We also found the fifth
season of "Game of Thrones"--perfect since we had had seasons one
through four.  (Luckily they were pricing by the season, not by the
disc.)  Add MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (with Marlon Brando), and a
Broadway Theatre Archive of Eugene O'Neill's A TOUCH OF THE POET,
and that was it.  Yes, that's right--we got no books at the book

I wasn't expecting much from this book sale, so I was not greatly
disappointed.  We still go because some years I find great stuff
(last year I found a facsimile edition of Frida Kahlo's self-
illustrated diary), but other years there's nothing.

And rounding out the season (for us, anyway) was the Cherry Hill
Friends of the Library sale.  Yes, this is kind of far from us, but
we usually have a few other places we want to go in that area, so
we save them up for the spring sale date.  And Cherry Hill has
about three times as much as East Brunswick.

We did better here than at East Brunswick in that we found actual
books: a dictionary of Spanish slang, an encyclopedia of gangster
movies, and a really thick anthology of "The Best American Short
Stories of the Century" selected by John Updike, and a few more
books--and each only a dollar.  (Okay, we also got some DVDs: THE
LAST STATION, PYGMALION, and four "Miss Marple" movies.  But they
are literarily connected, so that's all right.)

We also sold a bunch of books to a bookstore near Cherry Hill, so
we actually decreased our volume of books, which is our spring book
goal these days.  And this even though we bought five history books
at the bookstore.  [-ecl]


TOPIC: Hugo Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Hugo Awards, Lodestar Award for Best
Young Adult Book, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Best Novel
- The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
- Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton
   / Harper Voyager)
- Revenant Gun, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
- Space Opera, by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
- Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
- Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best Novella
- Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells ( publishing)
- Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire ( publishing)
- Binti: The Night Masquerade, by Nnedi Okorafor (
- The Black God's Drums, by P. Djeli Clark ( publishing)
- Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, by Kelly Robson (
- The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard
   (Subterranean Press / JABberwocky Literary Agency)

Best Novelette
- "If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again," by Zen Cho (B&N
   Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, 29 November 2018)
- "The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections," by Tina Connolly
   (, 11 July 2018)
- "Nine Last Days on Planet Earth," by Daryl Gregory (,
   19 September 2018)
- The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander (
- "The Thing About Ghost Stories," by Naomi Kritzer (Uncanny
   Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
- "When We Were Starless," by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld 145,
   October 2018)

Best Short Story
- "The Court Magician," by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed, January 2018)
- "The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society," by
   T. Kingfisher (Uncanny Magazine 25, November-December 2018)
- "The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington,"
   by P. Djeli Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)
- "STET," by Sarah Gailey (Fireside Magazine, October 2018)
- "The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince
   Who Was Made of Meat," by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine 23,
   July-August 2018)
- "A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal
   Fantasies," by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine, February 2018)

Best Series
- The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older ( publishing)
- The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross (most recently
- Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
- The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)
- The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard (most recently
   Subterranean Press)
- Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper

Best Related Work
- Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for
   Transformative Works
- Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein,
   L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, by Alec
   Nevala-Lee (Dey Street Books)
- The Hobbit Duology (documentary in three parts), written and
   edited by Lindsay Ellis and Angelina Meehan (YouTube)
- An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the
   Hugo Awards, 1953-2000, by Jo Walton (Tor)
- The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at
   Worldcon 76 (Julia Rios, Libia Brenda, Pablo Defendini, John
- Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing, by Ursula K. Le Guin
   with David Naimon (Tin House Books)

Best Graphic Story
- Abbott, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivela, colours by
   Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
- Black Panther: Long Live the King, written by Nnedi Okorafor and
   Aaron Covington, art by Andre Lima Araujo, Mario Del Pennino and
   Tana Ford (Marvel)
- Monstress, Volume 3: Haven, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana
   Takeda (Image Comics)
- On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden (First Second)
- Paper Girls, Volume 4, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff
   Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher
   (Image Comics)
- Saga, Volume 9, written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples
   (Image Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
- Annihilation
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Black Panther
- A Quiet Place
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
- The Expanse: "Abaddon's Gate"
- Doctor Who: "Demons of the Punjab"
- Dirty Computer
- The Good Place: "Janet(s)"
- The Good Place: "Jeremy Bearimy"
- Doctor Who: "Rosa"

Best Editor, Short Form
- Neil Clarke
- Gardner Dozois
- Lee Harris
- Julia Rios
- Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
- E. Catherine Tobler

Best Editor, Long Form
- Sheila E. Gilbert
- Anne Lesley Groell
- Beth Meacham
- Diana Pho
- Gillian Redfearn
- Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist
- Galen Dara
- Jaime Jones
- Victo Ngai
- John Picacio
- Yuko Shimizu
- Charles Vess

Best Semiprozine
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies
- Fireside Magazine
- FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction
- Shimmer
- Strange Horizons
- Uncanny Magazine

Best Fanzine
- Galactic Journey
- Journey Planet
- Lady Business
- nerds of a feather, flock together
- Quick Sip Reviews
- Rocket Stack Rank

Best Fancast
- Be the Serpent
- The Coode Street Podcast
- Fangirl Happy Hour
- Galactic Suburbia
- Our Opinions Are Correct
- The Skiffy and Fanty Show

Best Fan Writer
- Foz Meadows
- James Davis Nicoll
- Charles Payseur
- Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
- Alasdair Stuart
- Bogi Takacs

Best Fan Artist
- Sara Felix
- Grace P. Fong
- Meg Frank
- Ariela Housman
- Likhain (Mia Sereno)
- Spring Schoenhuth

Best Art Book
Under the WSFS Constitution every Worldcon has the right to add one
category to the Hugo Awards for that year only. Dublin 2019 has
chosen to use this right to create an award for an art book.
- The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition,
   illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin
   (Saga Press /Gollancz)
- Daydreamer's Journey: The Art of Julie Dillon, by Julie Dillon
- Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History, by Michael
   Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Sam Witwer (Ten Speed Press)
- Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art,
   ed. John Fleskes (Flesk Publications)
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - The Art of the Movie,
   by Ramin Zahed (Titan Books)
- Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, ed. Catherine McIlwaine
   (Bodleian Library)

There are two other Awards administered by Worldcon 76 that are not
Hugo Awards:

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
- The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform / Gollancz)
- Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt /
   Macmillan Children's Books)
- The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black (Little, Brown / Hot Key Books)
- Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
- The Invasion, by Peadar O'Guilin (David Fickling Books /
- Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House / Penguin Teen)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
- Katherine Arden*
- S.A. Chakraborty*
- R.F. Kuang
- Jeannette Ng*
- Vina Jie-Min Prasad*
- Rivers Solomon*

*Finalist in their 2nd year of eligibility


TOPIC: Retro Hugo Finalists

The finalists for the 1944 Retrospective Hugo Awards are:

Best Novel
- Conjure Wife, by Fritz Leiber, Jr. (Unknown Worlds, April 1943)
- Earth's Last Citadel, by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner (Argosy,
   April 1943)
- Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber, Jr. (Astounding Science-
   Fiction, May-July 1943)
- Das Glasperlenspiel [The Glass Bead Game], by Hermann Hesse
   (Fretz & Wasmuth)
- Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis (John Lane, The Bodley Head)
- The Weapon Makers, by A.E. van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction,
   February-April 1943)

Best Novella
- "Attitude," by Hal Clement (Astounding Science-Fiction,
   September 1943)
- "Clash by Night," by Lawrence O'Donnell (Henry Kuttner &
   C.L. Moore) (Astounding Science-Fiction, March 1943)
- "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," by H.P. Lovecraft,
   (Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Arkham House)
- The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
   (Reynal & Hitchcock)
- The Magic Bed-Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy
   Lessons, by Mary Norton (Hyperion Press)
- "We Print the Truth," by Anthony Boucher (Astounding Science-
   Fiction, December 1943)

Best Novelette
- "Citadel of Lost Ships," by Leigh Brackett (Planet Stories,
   March 1943)
- "The Halfling," by Leigh Brackett (Astonishing Stories,
   February 1943)
- "Mimsy Were the Borogoves," by Lewis Padgett (C.L. Moore &
   Henry Kuttner) (Astounding Science-Fiction, February 1943)
- "The Proud Robot," by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner)
   (Astounding Science-Fiction, February 1943)
- "Symbiotica," by Eric Frank Russell (Astounding Science-Fiction,
   October 1943)
- "Thieves' House," by Fritz Leiber, Jr (Unknown Worlds,
   February 1943)

Best Short Story
- "Death Sentence," by Isaac Asimov (Astounding Science Fiction,
   November 1943)
- "Doorway into Time," by C.L. Moore (Famous Fantastic Mysteries,
   September 1943)
- "Exile," by Edmond Hamilton (Super Science Stories, May 1943)
- "King of the Gray Spaces" ("R is for Rocket"), by Ray Bradbury
   (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, December 1943)
- "Q.U.R.," by H.H. Holmes (Anthony Boucher) (Astounding
   Science-Fiction, March 1943)
- "Yours Truly - Jack the Ripper," by Robert Bloch (Weird Tales,
   July 1943)

Best Graphic Story
- Buck Rogers: Martians Invade Jupiter, by Philip Nowlan and
   Dick Calkins (National Newspaper Service)
- Flash Gordon: Fiery Desert of Mongo, by Alex Raymond
   (King Features Syndicate)
- Garth, by Steve Dowling (Daily Mirror)
- Plastic Man #1: The Game of Death, by Jack Cole (Vital
- Le Secret de la Licorne [The Secret of the Unicorn], by Herge
   (Le Soir)
- Wonder Woman #5: Battle for Womanhood, written by William Moulton
   Marsden, art by Harry G. Peter (DC Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
- Batman
- Cabin in the Sky
- A Guy Named Joe
- Heaven Can Wait
- Munchhausen,
- Phantom of the Opera

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
- The Ape Man
- Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
- "Der Fuehrer's Face"
- I Walked With a Zombie
- The Seventh Victim

Best Editor, Short Form
- John W. Campbell
- Oscar J. Friend
- Mary Gnaedinger
- Dorothy McIlwraith
- Raymond A. Palmer
- Donald A. Wollheim

Best Professional Artist
- Hannes Bok
- Margaret Brundage
- Virgil Finlay
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- J. Allen St. John
- William Timmins

Best Fanzine
- Fantasy News, editor William S. Sykora
- Futurian War Digest, editor J. Michael Rosenblum
- The Phantagraph, editor Donald A. Wollheim
- Voice of the Imagi-Nation, editors Jack Erman
   (Forrest J Ackerman) & Morojo (Myrtle Douglas)
- YHOS, editor Art Widner
- Le Zombie, editor Wilson "Bob" Tucker

Best Fan Writer
- Forrest J. Ackerman
- Morojo (Myrtle Douglas)
- Jack Speer
- Wilson "Bob" Tucker
- Art Widner
- Donald A. Wollheim

Per WSFS rules, categories in which there were insufficient
nominations to justify the category were dropped.

The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book and the John W.
Campbell Award for Best New Writer are not Hugo Awards, and
therefore no retrospective versions of them were included on the
nominating ballot.


                                           Mark Leeper

           I don't think anyone should write their autobiography
           until after they're dead.
                                           --Samuel Goldwyn