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A different kind of End Of The World movie, World War Z is based on An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, and the screenplay done by J. Michael Straczynsk (Babylon 5, Jeremiah, Thor, etc.). Brad Pitt liked it enough to be part of the movie project, and when they made the Audiobook the cast included Allen Alda, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, and Mark Hamill. I’m thinking this one could be fun.

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has an audio book available as a podcast series that I would like to recommend. It has all the Steampunk goodness of the written format without the need of focusing your eyes on the printed page, and thereby getting distracted. Not terribly surprising, considering the author had a hand in creating PodioBooks and went on to write several physical books on the topic, starting with Podcasting for Dummies. Personally I love the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences books and universe, and hope you will find it as fun to hang out in as I do.

The short list for this year’s 2012 Hugo Awards was posted online this weekend, and includes a ton of great authors and programs. But I have to say, as much as I am excited about books from my favorite authors, it is the authors I don’t know about who made the list that excites me more. There are really good stories out there that I have never read, and most of those authors will have still more stories I might enjoy that I never would have known were there if not for these awards. And, of course, it is not just the written word that is being celebrated here. The category Best Graphic Story brings images to add a dimension to the storytelling, but I am so long out of touch with that field that I don’t recognize a single title or artist. Again, something new and interesting to explore. But then I hit Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, and I have seen every one of them, and would be really hard pressed to choose a single one as best; although I suspect I would lean to either Hugo or Captain America. And on Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, three of the five are from last year’s Doctor Who season. The awards will be handed out at Worldcon as always, which this year is the ChiCon, AKA Chicago 7, the 70th Worldcon convention.

UPDATE: If you want to read the novels online, all have now been released to the public, and Worlds Without End has the links. And congrats on their two nominations to the great team at SF-Signal, who will probably have links to all the nominees that can be read online in any category fairly soon now.