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Per [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll; books I have are bold, books I have are bolded, books I've read are italics. Authors I have or read other works by get the same treatment.

A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski
A Voice Out of Ramah by Lee Killough
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
China Mountain Zhang by Maureen McHugh

Don't Bite the Sun by Tanith Lee
Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton
Gate of Ivrel by C.J. Cherryh

Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle
Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Female Man by Joanna Russ
The Many Colored Land by Julian May
The Next Continent by Issui Ogawa
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
Warm Worlds and Otherwise by James Tiptree, Jr.

So I have 11/20 in my library and have read 7/20.
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I sat down with another go at The Kencyrath Tune, and finished another lyrics triplet. I also decided to change the title to "The Dream-Weaver's Song".

To the tune of Hårgalåten and based on the Kencyrath series by P.C. Hodgell ([livejournal.com profile] tagmeth).

Gerridon a man of pride was he )

On the original song and the legend )
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Late last year I decided to get over to Quoi de Neuf, the 29th annual British Filk Convention. It was my only decent chance to get to a filk con in 2017, and also fit with some not-booked days at university. Having decided this and notified the concom that I was coming, I set out to investigate how to get there.

There and back again )

Overall, I very much liked the con and am very happy I went, despite the hassles and extra costs.
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Not sure how it happened, but Mad Max: Fury Road and Take Me Home, Country Roads mashed themselves together in my head, leading to this.

Take Me Home, Fury Road )

Note that the scansion is a little bit different in that "The Green Place" will have an extra-long "Place" to make it fit to "West Virginia". "Painted in the sky / the tracks of old machines" refers back to the scene where they watch the sky, talking about satellites.
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The Swedish fan Peter Ekberg made a joke based on Tolkien and the classic Swedish TV show Macken, which led to me writing a filk based on the show's theme tune.

Balroys och Balrogers hål )

Another Swedish fan, Anna Gable Frimodig, proposed changing "Moria" to "ett djup" for better scansion, and it can also be used instead of "hål" in the verses as well, especially as it fits better with the Swedish Tolkien translations. No matter what, I recommend doing lots of practice before attempting to sing this.
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I am up to one hundred filk songs written now (depending a little on how one counts written, and how one defines filk; your definition of filk might give a lower amount). Not all of them are good (there are one or two that I'm fairly sure are utterly unsingable, at least by me), some are extremely obscure (like the songs based on not yet published books), some are hardly classifiable as filk, and some have not been published due to various reasons, but I think that's enough to do some statistics.

Topics )

Base Song Authors )

Base songs )

Language )

Chorus )

Chronology )

All my published filks can be found using the filk tag.
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Last update, I mentioned that I hadn't been writing many new filks. Since then, I've written three new ones, though two of them were spur-of-the-moment filks.

First one was mostly written as a lark, when a fellow fan in the Facebook group "F Is For Filker" complained about his gloves being stolen to the tune of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles, leading to a flurry of gloves-themed Beatles filk. This was my contribution, to the tune of "All You Need Is Love".

All You Need Is Gloves )

The second one was written after a fellow Swedish fan retold her encounter with a large spider in her bedroom, and the phrase "the spider's in the jar" had lodged itself in my brain. To the tune of "Whiskey in the Jar".

The Spider's in the Jar )

(Yes, she had improvised a flame thrower to kill a spider at an earlier date.)

The last one was a long time coming. I've followed PC Hodgell's ([livejournal.com profile] tagmeth) Kencyrath series for a while now. A while ago, I noted the similarities between the opening legend about Gerridon and Jamethiel and the Swedish Hårga legend, where the devil starts to play and makes all the youth of Hårga dance until they die. One of the most famous Swedish hambo tunes is associated with Hårga and the legend, but it took me a while to finish the lyrics. I'm thinking of maybe writing another set of verses as well, but the current lyrics covers the opening legend nicely.

The traditional tune of Hårgalåten (sometimes also spelled Horgalåten) has several sets of lyrics associated with it, but the most famous one was written by Lennart Hellsing. There are lots of Youtubes of this one, e.g.: Elina (including a basic English translation in the description); Åsa Jinder (instrumental jazz); Kebnekajse (progressive rock).

The Kencyrath Tune )
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I haven't been writing that many filks lately, partly because the main ideas I had never quite gelled, despite being very good in theory. But I got two new filks written this week.

First out was an instafilk with a single verse, riffing off Frank Hayes's "Never Set the Cat on Fire" (likely the second-most filked filk song of all times, unless one counts "The Real Old Time Religion"). It was written to console a fellow filker who found that they couldn't go to GAFilk due to bad weather, and after they had posted a picture of some of their cats by the fireplace.

Never Drive in Sleet or Snow )

The other one is in Swedish and based on the poem and song Flickorna i Småland. The poem was written in 1912 by Karl Williams and Fridolf Lundberg wrote the tune in 1913. It was largely unnoticed for 30 years, but then it became a hit in 1942 when Sven-Olof Sandberg recorded it, and in 1951 Delta Rhythm Boys made another recording that was a monster hit. It is still a popular song here, but nowadays mainly for reworks and reimaginings. To take but one example, my mother and aunt wrote new lyrics with the topic being my wife and myself, and sang them to us at our wedding party. Our daughter was also born in Ljungby, where the song was inspired and written.

Youtubes of some memorable versions: Margareta Kjellberg (1940, traditional); Delta Rhythm Boys (1951, jazz); Eddie Meduza (1996, rockabilly); Lena Philipsson and Charlotte Perrelli (2003, barely SFW); Gina Dirawi and Charlotte Perrelli (2016, show tune with new lyrics).

Fandom uti Finland )


Jan. 4th, 2017 10:40 pm
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So, managed to beat a reasonably clean style into submission, into making it even cleaner and getting rid of the absolute fugliness in places. Even if it required writing raw CSS rules. I have no idea how anyone could think that having a list of extra-large characters really close together made for good usable design.

I think it says something about me that whenever I need to do something with CSS, my first stop is always the official specifications.

LJ and DW

Jan. 2nd, 2017 03:13 pm
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I have had a Dreamwidth account for years, but never used it. But with the recent exodus from LJ over to DW, I've decided I needed to set things up there properly, not so much because of the server move from USA to Russia (being Swedish and a socialist I'm pretty phlegmatic about both corporate and government shenanigans and privacy intrusions; I assume they will happen no matter what I do).

But now I'm going to post on DW and mirror things over here, so people who move over to DW still can follow me easily (all two of you, I imagine, given how LJ has been developing for a long while).
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Another instafilk, based on a comment on the Filker Facebook group. Based on Tim Spencer's song "Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wild Wild Women", but I learnt of it from Cacka Israelsson's Swedish version "Cigaretter, whiskey och vilda kvinnor" (YouTube)

Filking, F-bombs and surly poems )
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On November 19th 1915, Joe Hill was murdered by the State of Utah for the crime of filking.

This one was written October 4th, based on Joe Hill's 1913 song What We Want, set to the tune Rainbow from 1908 by Percy Wenrich (note: a so-called Indian Song). I had never heard the tune or the song before [livejournal.com profile] patoadam sent me a copy of John McCutcheon's CD "Joe Hill's Last Will", for which I am very thankful. The song was meant as a celebration of what I and others wanted to achieve with Worldcon 75.

Then, just a few days later, [livejournal.com profile] filkerdave and Worldcon 75 had their huge falling out.

Needless to say, my feelings towards this song are very conflicted right now. I know it can need quite a bit more polishing, but at the same time it's hard for me to get back to it.

We want the reader and the writer and the cosplayer… )

My previously posted Joe Hill filks: 2014, 2015


Oct. 31st, 2016 09:55 pm
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I have a low-key long-term project to write filks in as many big-name fandoms as I can. One of the larger missing pieces had been Doctor Who, but during dinner I hit upon a good idea: singing about K-9 instead of the Doctor, and basing it on Änglahund by Hasse "Kvinnaböske" Andersson (YouTube; there is an English version, "Angel Buddy" too, but it's not as good).

Får man ta hunden med sej i sin TARDIS )


Oct. 25th, 2016 11:51 pm
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Another con report filk, this one from LunCon 2016 (or perhaps the more fanhistorically correct LunCon 4). Since the con was held in Sweden and everyone present at least understands Swedish, this one is in Swedish too.

It is based on another Bellman song, Fredmans epistel 3, often known by its opening line "Fader Berg i hornet stöter" (YouTube). The tune is a menuet, possibly with substantial changes made by Bellman himself. The original song describes a very wet party, ending with the singer/narrator passing out. LunCon, on the other hand, was held in the local IOGT locale, and the only drugs served were coffee and egoboo.

Til en och hvar av Fridorna )

People well-versed in Swedish fan history will be able to find a minor mistake in the song.
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A short Swedish filk, ttto "Blinka lilla stjärna" ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"). Its opening line is stolen from one of the staff at Upptech, a science centre that my daughter visited some years ago with school. I never got a handle on how to continue the song, until I saw English Chris Malme's filk of the song. It inspired me to get the following combo of borrowed and translated material:

Brinn du stora gasklot där
nu så vet jag vad du är
luftens refraktion den gör
stjärnan blinkar och förför
men planeten som är när
för mitt öga stadig är

(This is the second filk by Chris that I have translated to Swedish. The first one was Rymden är stor.)
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A year ago, I wrote A History of Swedish Filk. Since then I've gathered some new material. Thanks to an interlibrary loan I received a copy of a 32-page booklet with the lyrics and notes of Sam J Lundwall's record Visor i vår tid from 1965 or 1966[1] (I haven't found the record itself, but there are some copies around).

The record contains 14 songs. Four of them have science fiction or fantasy elements.

"Visa till mor" ("Song to mother") is sung to the robot mother of an IVF child, born and raised in a reproductive factory.

"Monstret från planeten Mars" ("The monster from the planet Mars") tells the story of a monster from Mars, who arrives on Earth to spread havoc, but is enslaved and expropriated by the movie industry to appear in B-movies.

"Möte i rymden" ("Encounter in space") tells the story of two old friends meeting at a space station, and one of them telling the story about his (mis)adventures in space, encountering monsters, a girl made out of nitroglycerine, and drifting in a crippled ship in space. It is clearly inspired by Evert Taube's song "Möte i monsunen" (which I myself have filked), but uses an original melody.

"Häxan" ("The witch") tells the story of a witch burning. The catch - the priest is the Devil and leads the villagers dancing out to their doom.

Of the rest of the songs, many feels like they should fit very well into filk circles, telling stories on mundane events and topics but in a way that match very well with the fannish and filking mindset. I can eg easily see Swedish SCA members singing "Tre små munkar" ("Three little monks").

[1] The SMDB database lists a 1965 date, but every other source I've found says 1966.
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Right now I see a bit of pushback against the newly ratified E Pluribus Hugo rules (see eg Jed Hartman and Rachael Acks). In part this is because the test runs on prior Hugo nominations didn't yield as good results as some may have hoped for, another might be that many fans do not feel they can exactly understand how EPH works. FPTP may be unfair, but it's simple to understand.

At its core, E Pluribus Hugo isn't about selecting the works with the most "support". It's more about selecting the set of works that generates the most voter happiness, where happiness is defined as "getting a work onto the final ballot". I think this framing has gone missing from the discussion.

But in order to help with understanding, no, grokking how EPH works, here is my manually run example. To show how this is done, here is my (hardly random) example set of ballots, with 15 ballots, each with four nominations, and the goal is to reduce the 26 nominees to four finalists. Four of the ballots are also showing very similar taste (due to being on a slate or for some other reason).

I recommend keeping a set of the WSFS agenda from Midamericon 2 at hand, since I'm going to refer to the rules there.

Initial set of ballots )

Per the old FPTP rules for Hugo nomination, A, B, C, and J would be the nominees. Lets see what happens when we start using EPH.

Running EPH )

The final ballot from running EPH would thus be:

A, J, K, L, and M

All the nominators but poor 11 and 12 (or 13%) will have at least one of their nominated works on the ballot, and the slate (numbering 4 out of 15, or about 27%) have one work on the final ballot.

We can compare this with the FPTP system, which would have yielded the following ballot:

A, B, C, J

Here ballots 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 (40%!) would have had no impact at all on the final ballot.

Notes )


Aug. 5th, 2016 11:28 pm
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Some filks just have to be written at once when you come up with the idea. Here's Brobusters, ttto the Ghostbusters theme song. Free to any good home, since I'm pretty sure I can't do it well.

Brobusters )

(Yes, I did like the new Ghostbusters.)
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This is another filk in need of further polishing, it's in sort of singable state, especially if I get a backing track, but I sure would like the words to flow better in the verses.

For some while I have thought about basing a filk upon "Bohus bataljon", a merry Swedish march from 1940 with a great and fun text. (YouTube as song; Instrumental YouTube with the I17 military band.) While checking my bookshelf for more books to possibly write filks about I found Grunts by Mary Gentle, and I knew I had found the perfect match.

The choruses are usually sung twice with a whistle part between each repetition.

They were fighting Agaku )


The zoological improbabilities are all directly from the original song. "On Canaan's happy shore" is a line from the song that lent its melody to "John Brown's Body", that lent its melody to a Swedish drinking song that is referenced in the same spot in the original text.
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My fellow Swedish fan and sometime filker Rolf Strömgren posted the line "Den klassiska framtid är vår" when commenting on some 1950's-like speculation on future transportation published today. It immediately connected with my filking brain, as the fourth line of the classic Swedish student song (YouTube). It is also frequently parodied in Sweden.

Sjungom framtiden åter idag,
låtom oss fröjdas åt dåtidens vår!
Än äro hjärtat för atomen svag,
och den klassiska framtid är vår.
Inga bilar än
flyga högt över oss,
hoppet är vår vän,
vi dess löften tro,
när vi försöker besöka den stund,
där den eviga framtidstron gro,
där den eviga framtidstron gro!





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