Robots are going to put us all out of work!

That is a refrain I hear all the time.  Automation, will take over people’s jobs and put them out of work and we’ll end up with endless numbers of people for whom there are no jobs.

But is that really how it works?

Liberal political commentator Sally Kohn seems to think so:

Solar labor inefficiency crop

She is clearly advocating here a means of producing energy that requires 40-80 times as much labor to produce a given amount of “product” (in this case energy).  Exactly the opposite of what automation does.

Automation, the use of robots, produces more with less labor than was possible before.  That means we don’t need as many people to fill the need for whatever we’re producing.  And that means the “excess” people are out of work, right?

Sorry, but that’s not how it has ever worked except in the very shortest of terms.

Producing more with less labor has been the spur for economic growth since before recorded history began.

In early agriculture, farmers planted crops by poking a hole in the ground with a stick, dropping seeds into the hole, then closing it by stepping on it.  One person could raise enough food that way to feed him or herself with very little surplus.  Just about the entire population had to be full-time farmers.

Along the way somebody discovered that if you dragged the stick along the ground you could create a furrow, preparing a field for seed in less time.  This rapidly turned into the scratch plow pulled at first by other people and later by animals.  One person could keep more land in cultivation, meaning you needed fewer people to produce the food for your population meaning more people were freed up for other activities.  People could become artisans, and craftsmen–specializing in those activities and not simply performing them as a sideline between stints in the fields.

It is no coincidence that the flourishing of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Nile valley, and the Levant arose following the invention of the plow–other things too such as the potter’s wheel, which also allowed fewer people to produce the pots and urns that people needed.

So it has been throughout history.  Western (i.e. European) civilization took off when extensive use of water mills, and later steam power, took the place of muscle power for industry.

One of the steps along the way, an early example of automation, the use of punch-card controlled looms for making textiles, led to actual protests.  A movement started by a probably mythical individual by the name of Ned Ludd, protested the new looms, claiming that it would put weavers out of work.  The protests involved both violence and sabotage.

Of course, the use of the new looms proceeded apace and, contrary to the fears, the economic growth more than absorbed any weavers displaced by the automation process.  Nor was the displacement as bad as expected because by producing more textiles more cheaply, international trade increased the quantity demanded.

Interestingly enough, a number of former third-world nations (even before the term “third world” was coined) have used textiles as an entry point in bootstrapping an industrial and manufacturing economy.

And so it has gone ever since.  Machine tools.  Assembly lines.  Railroads.  Modern shipping (compare the crew to cargo ratio of a modern container ship to an old merchant sailing ship).  Industrial robots of increasing sophistication.  And now robots that are poised to take your order and make your food in fast food establishments.  All of them ways to get the same job done with less human effort.  The latest round is no different from any of the previous ones.

What all of them do is to free up people to do other things.  This is the core of economic growth and we all benefit from it.

If you don’t believe that, I invite you to try to live as that prehistoric farmer family did–feeding yourself by poking holes in the ground with a stick (no cheating by dragging the stick to create a furrow).

Good luck.

 

Blast from the Past: “A Gun in the Home is more Likely…”

I generally do “blasts from the past” when I either don’t have anything specific I want to blog on on a particular day or when I’m not feeling well and am just not up to writing something new.

Today is the latter case.  All achy and stuffy today.

People keep making the claim that a gun in the home is more likely to be used to kill a friend or family member than it is to be used in self defense.

This all derives by a “study” by Arthur Kellerman which has long since been debunked but its fake statistics nevertheless continue to be cited by anti-gun propagandists.

Here are a few of the debunkings:
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/01/william-c-montgomery/editorial-deconstructing-kellermann/
http://www.guns.com/2015/08/24/kellermanns-gun-ownership-studies-after-two-decades/
http://guncite.com/gun-control-kellermann-3times.html
http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/doctors-epidemic.htm
http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/rkba-43.html

Some of its flaws:
On the one side: He only counts as “defenses” dead criminals when in truth in most cases where a gun is used in self defense merely presenting a gun is sufficient to end the threat. When the gun is fired, most of the times the person shot survives. This is even more the case in defensive shootings because when a person means harm, they are more likely to keep shooting until the target is dead whereas in a defensive shooting a person generally stops when they believe the threat is ended (and, in fact, is legally required to do so). So, the number of uses of a gun in self defense in the Kellerman study is low by orders of magnitude.

On the flip side: The original study spoke of victims known to the attacker. People citing the statistic morphed that into “friends and acquaintances” and then later to “friends and family”. But the statistic being cited as “friends and family” is actually “person shot by person known to them”. In a drug deal gone bad, the persons are known to each other. In a gang war, the members of the gang are often known to each other. An abusive ex shot in self defense is known to the person doing the shooting. And so on. So a lot of the things being included in that statistic are things that simply are not relevant to a law abiding citizen owning a gun. (Ed:  Or they will be risks the person faces whether they own a gun or not.)

The other thing that gets added in is suicide.  However possession of a firearm only really affects choice of method rather than suicide itself.  Japan, for instance, with its essentially gun-free society has a suicide rate higher than our suicide and homicide rates combined.

Looked at dispassionately we find that studies of gun use in self defense produce a low value of about 800,000 per year. The high value is 2.5 million. It’s hard to get a definitive answer to the question because see above: most times in a defensive use the gun is never fired. As a result, this means that most gun defenses are never reported to the police. In any case, most studies of the issue return results of 1 to 1.5 million gun defenses per year. However, even using the lowball estimate of 800,000 that’s quite comparable to the number of times guns are used criminally in the US. So, far from having a gun in the household making one at increased risk, one is instead about as likely (again, using that lowball result) to use a gun in self defense as to be threatened by a gun. More, actually since “gun owners” (the only population where one is able to use a gun in self defense) < “total population” (the population at risk for criminal use). Being criminally threatened with a gun has a risk of about 800,000 out of 321 (or so) million. Using a gun to defend oneself has a risk of about 800,000 (lowball again) out of 70-100 million. The latter is at worst three times the odds of the former.

Or look at it more simply. Gun ownership in the US has grown by leaps and bounds. The spread of “shall issue” and more recently “constitutional carry” means more people are carrying more guns in more places than ever before. If the “gun ownership increases risk” had any merit then we would be seeing homicide and violent crime going up. But that’s not what’s happening. It’s been going down since the 90’s and is currently at a 100 year low.

The simple truth is, the violent have been with us since the beginning of humanity. The violent have several inherent advantages. They get to choose time and place. They get to choose victims (generally choosing those smaller and weaker than themselves). What firearms do is level the playing field. With a gun, aged Aunt Millie is the equal of 6′ 4″ 300 lb, Joe Thug on Steroids. Guns are, therefore, a net good to society.

“God made man short and tall. Samuel Colt made them equal.”

“Be not afraid of any man, No matter what his size; When danger threatens, call on me — And I will equalize!”

Department of Education? Why?

In 1979, during the administration of President Jimmy Carter, the Federal Department of Education was created as a Cabinet Level department.  In the 38 years since then, we have spent $1.5 trillion on this department.  It was created in response to a study of Education in America that famously said “If a foreign nation imposed this system of education on us, it would be considered an act of war.”  It was supposed to “fix” the problem and dramatically improve education in America. [Ed:  The source where I got that information was apparently chronologically challenged as that quote was from the 1983 “A Nation At Risk” study.  It was instead created apparently to fulfill a promise Carter made to the National Education Association gaining their support during his campaign]

Can anyone honestly say that our schools are any better now than they were then?

cato_andrew_coulson_public_school_trends_2013

As the above chart shows, spending has been growing by leaps and bounds but the performance of the schools, as measured by the reading, math, and science scores of the students has not measurably improved.

One would presume that the purpose of the Department of Education would be to improve the education of American students so they would graduate possessing greater knowledge of core subjects like reading, math, science, and history.  One would presume.

Whatever the Department of Education is doing, it is not working.  The improvement has simply not been happening.

They have had thirty-eight years and one and a half trillion dollars to improve things.  They have had Democrat and Republican appointees both in charge.  They have had more liberal and less liberal Congresses passing budgets (or at least continuing resolutions).  They have had every possible chance to show that they can actually make our schools better.

They have failed.  It’s time to shut down the failed experiment.

Of course, advocating that evokes the cries of those who declare that education will collapse and we’ll suddenly have a nation of functional illiterates.  In many ways, we already have that.  But consider what we accomplished with education system more beholden to the local than the Federal level, before there was a Department of Education, before there was even a Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.  We educated a population that took us from horse and buggies to the sound barrier and beyond.  We educated a population that won two world wars, both of which involved significant technological advances.  We went from Congreve Rockets to Earth Orbiting Satellites, to Man in Space, to the Moon.  We educated a population that gave us the first sort-of reuseable spaceship (Oh, don’t get me started… But the problems were not educational.  The problems were political).  We did all that without federal meddling with people’s schooling.

What has been done, can be done.

Who has more interest in the education of a community’s children, than the community itself.  Will some fail in their charge?  No doubt.  But they will fail for themselves.  When the Federal government fails, it fails for everybody.

So, time and past time to get the Federal Government out of what should be a State, or better yet local, issue.  The money is wasted and accomplishes nothing good.

Empty promises and wishful thinking are not a substitute actual results.

Barriers to Entry and monopolies

Yesterday, starting with a nice parable produced by Frederick Bastiat, I talked a bit about capital and interest and why those who own capital–the means of production (not money; money is just something that can be traded for capital).–are entirely deserving of being compensated for making that capital available to others to use and that the compensation is based on what capital is made available not how much a particular person has.  A particular amount of capital rates so much compensation, whether that capital is owned by one person or split up between two, ten, or ten thousand.  You can’t charge too much for the use of that capital (Whether it’s a plane, or a rolling mill, or a semiconductor fabrication facility) or people will produce their own rather than use yours and pay the compensation you demand.

Or that will be the case if there aren’t barriers to entry.

Let’s go back to James and his plane.  James wants to charge more for his plane but he finds when he does so his customers, instead of paying his higher charges, say “no” and take the time to make their own planes.  The revenue they lose for taking the time to make their own plane is less than James is charging.  James either has to lower his prices or watch his customers go away.

Enter government to provide a third option.

James goes to the local Baron shows him his plane, explains how using that plane folk can make fine, splinter-free thrones for the Baron to sit upon and fine tables for his feast halls.  But other people are making planes too.  And, well, who knows what quality they are.  Really, they should not be able to do that.  And if those inferior planes were prohibited and only James were allowed to make planes, why James would be able to contributed, say 10% of the charge from renting out planes to the Baron’s feast fund.

The Baron’s stricture that only James shall be allowed to make and provide planes in the Barony is what we call a Barrier to Entry.

Barriers to Entry are anything that gets in the way of competition.

And you don’t need a complete ban to have a barrier to entry.  If, for instance, James simply suggested that anyone making planes should complete a year long “plane building course” then anyone coming in would have to charge for their planes based on the cost to them of that year spent just completing the course.  And James, already comfortably in the field, can charge that higher price confident that no one is going to undersell him.

Some barriers to entry are natural.  If a particular field requires unusual skill or talent few people will be successful in it.  The ability to hit a major league fastball is a pretty strong barrier to entry to playing major league baseball (and/or throw or field that major league fastball).  This means players can charge pretty high salaries without fear of thousands of others who can do the same thing for less money.

Same principle if something requires a rare or difficult to access resource.  Lack of that resource, or lack of access to it, is a barrier to entry.

This is how monopolies happen.  There are only two ways you can have a monopoly.  The first is that someone is so good at providing a good or service that they give better value than any potential competitors.   The second is where barriers to entry are imposed artificially.  And this second category is almost entirely the result of government regulation.  It takes force to impose such a barrier.  And the only organization that can lawfully (pretty much by definition) use force is government.

Government regulation serves as a barrier to entry and always either increases the cost of goods and services or creates a shortage.

Now let’s look at that first category of monopoly–where someone is so good that they can undersell all competitors and so the competitors go out of business.  When that happens, people wring their hands and worry that once the competition is gone, the monopoly can then raise its prices without limit.  However, in the absence of barriers to entry the moment they do that competitors can once again arise.  They cannot raise their prices higher than that required to make competitors profitable.

So the question should not be “is there a monopoly” but rather “is the monopoly caused by artificially imposed barriers to entry.

From a strictly economic point of view, you want the fewest barriers to entry as possible.  Ideally only natural ones and even those we would do well to mitigate.

Now, there are situations where its advisable, for reasons other than economic to distort things from the ideal “minimum barriers to entry–let everything sink or swim on its own” approach.  But that’s a topic for another day.

 

The plane: capital and Interest

I’m going to steal from Fredrick Bastiat today because he explained the concept so well.  This is basically a story, a parable if you will, which illustrates why the owners of capital (means of production) deserve compensation for the use of said means.


A very long time ago there lived, in a poor village, a joiner, who was a philosopher, as all my heroes are, in their way. James worked from morning till night with his two strong arms, but his brain was not idle, for all that. He was fond of reviewing his actions, their causes, and their effects. He sometimes said to himself, “With my hatchet, my saw, and my hammer, I can make only coarse furniture, and can only get the pay for such. If I only had a plane, I should please my customers more, and they would pay me more. It is quite just; I can only expect services proportioned to those which I render myself. Yes! I am resolved, I will make myself a plane.”

However, just as he was setting to work, James reflected further: “I work for my customers 300 days in the year. If I give ten to making my plane, supposing it lasts me a year, only 290 days will remain for me to make my furniture. Now, in order that I be not the loser in this matter, I must gain henceforth, with the help of the plane, as much in 290 days, as I now do in 300. I must even gain more; for unless I do so, it would not be worth my while to venture upon any innovations.” James began to calculate. He satisfied himself that he should sell his finished furniture at a price which would amply compensate for the ten days devoted to the plane; and when no doubt remained on this point, he set to work. I beg the reader to remark, that the power which exists in the tool to increase the productiveness of labor, is the basis of the solution which follows.

At the end of ten days, James had in his possession an admirable plane, which he valued all the more for having made it himself. He danced for joy — for, like the girl with her basket of eggs, he reckoned all the profits which he expected to derive from the ingenious instrument; but more fortunate than she, he was not reduced to the necessity of saying good-bye to calf, cow, pig, and eggs, together. He was building his fine castles in the air, when he was interrupted by his acquaintance William, a joiner in the neighboring village. William having admired the plane, was struck with the advantages which might be gained from it. He said to James:

W. You must do me a service.

J. What service?

W. Lend me the plane for a year.

As might be expected, James at this proposal did not fail to cry out, “How can you think of such a thing, William? Well, if I do you this service, what will you do for me in return?”

W. Nothing. Don’t you know that a loan ought to be gratuitous? Don’t you know that capital is naturally unproductive? Don’t you know fraternity has been proclaimed? If you only do me a service for the sake of receiving one from me in return, what merit would you have?

J. William, my friend, fraternity does not mean that all the sacrifices are to be on one side; if so, I do not see why they should not be on yours. Whether a loan should be gratuitous I don’t know; But I do know that if I were to lend you my plane for a year, it would be giving it to you. To tell you the truth, that is not what I made it for.

W. Well, we will say nothing about the modern maxims discovered by the Socialist gentlemen. I ask you to do me a service; what service do you ask of me in return?

J. First, then, in a year, the plane will be done for, it will be good for nothing. It is only just, that you should let me have another exactly like it; or that you should give me money enough to get it repaired; or that you should supply me the ten days which I must devote to replacing it.

W. This is perfectly just. I submit to these conditions. I engage to return it, or to let you have one like it, or the value of the same. I think you must be satisfied with this, and can require nothing further.

J. I think otherwise. I made the plane for myself, and not for you. I expected to gain some advantage from it, by my work being better finished and better paid, by an improvement in my condition. What reason is there that I should make the plane, and you should gain the profit? I might as well ask you to give me your saw and hatchet! What a confusion! Is it not natural that each should keep what he has made with his own hands, as well as his hands themselves? To use without recompense the hands of another, I call slavery; to use without recompense the plane of another, can this be called fraternity?

W. But, then, I have agreed to return it to you at the end of a year, as well polished and as sharp as it is now.

J. We have nothing to do with next year; we are speaking of this year. I have made the plane for the sake of improving my work and my condition; if you merely return it to me in a year, it is you who will gain the profit of it during the whole of that time. I am not bound to do you such a service without receiving anything from you in return; therefore, if you wish for my plane, independently of the entire restoration already bargained for, you must do me a service which we will now discuss; you must grant me remuneration.

And this was done thus: William granted a remuneration calculated in such a way that, at the end of the year, James received his plane quite new, and in addition, a compensation, consisting of a new plank, for the advantages of which he had deprived himself, and which he had yielded to his friend.

It was impossible for anyone acquainted with the transaction to discover the slightest trace in it of oppression or injustice.


That was Bastiat.  My turn for commentary now.

As we can see here, by letting William use the plane James deprived himself of what benefit he could have obtained by using the plane himself.  To compensate him for that, William not only provides him back the plane, good as new, at the end of the year, plus the value James could have obtained by using the plane himself.  William also benefits because he has the plane which he did not need to make himself.  If it happens that James is better at making planes and William is better at using them in carpentry, they both end up ahead in the arrangement.

If, however, the reverse was the case, the price James would charge for the use of the plane (representing what he would have to recoup in order to cover the lost productivity because effort is spent in making the plane in the first place) would be higher than the value William would get from using it and he would not use James’ plane but instead make his own.

So it has to be the other way because otherwise the exchange will not happen without the actual use of force.  William benefits because James makes planes available.  Yes, William has to pay James for the use of that plane, but because he can use the plane, he can produce more, and be paid more, than if he didn’t.

We could also get into the fact that William could buy the plane from James, but the cost would be much higher since William would not only be depriving James of the year of use of the plane but the value of its use forever after.

The situation does not change if James, instead of going back to work making rough furniture instead makes another plane and rents it out to Charles.  Nothing of significance changes if James gives his planes to his son Tom and Tom rents them out.  And if James has ten planes or  a hundred planes or a thousand planes rented out the compensation he earns is dependent not on the amount of time he spends renting out planes, but on the value of those planes to the people using them.  Because every person using one is benefiting from the use of that plane (or is being very foolish which is on them) for which benefit they should expect to pay.

And James (or Tom, if James has passed them on) has a bunch of planes.  He might trade some of the planes for hammers and saws and so on.  Now he can provide carpenters with the use of a complete kit.  And, again, just like with the plane, he’s perfectly entitled to the compensation for that use. (Yes, James could make another plane, but even then he would still have one less plane then he would otherwise have.)

The same principle extends in straightforward, stepwise fashion to providing work facilities, providing knowledge of markets (so you’re not producing bookshelves when chairs are what is needed), and all the other things that go into a thriving economy.  The folk providing the means of production are entitled to compensation for making those means available.  There is nothing illicit or unethical or venal in that.  Those using those means benefit from having them made available.  Without those means of production they would not be able to produce or would produce less and thus earn less themselves.  If that were not the case they could simply start up their own business providing their own means of production.

And that, right there, is capitalism.  All the other things people attribute to it?  It’s other stuff.  This, right here, is capitalism.

Where have all the heroes gone? (A Blast from the Past)

Some years back, I watched the deCappuccino version of The Man in the Iron Mask.  The movie was okay, but one line caught me.  It’s near the end, the second in command of the palace guard points to a dying d’Artagnon (it’s not a spoiler at this late date, is it?) and says, “All my life, all I wanted to be . . . was him.”

Damn . . . that moment.

You see, I grew up with heroes. I grew up with comics during the late Silver Age, Superman was the Big Blue Boyscout, when Batman wasn’t the cowled psychopath, when Robin was starting solo adventures with Batgirl (and while I knew I could never be Batman, I thought maybe Robin was achievable). I wanted to be the hero, dammit, or if not the hero, at least a competent sidekick.

Then I grew up and got “respectable”. But a part of me never quite grew out of that.

And so I like to write about heroes that are really heroes because I figure that there are other people out there, like me, who want to read about them.

I gave up on comic books, not because I outgrew them but because they “outgrew” (if you can call it that) me. In the interests of being “real” and “relevant” and “real” they wanted their heroes to be “flawed” by which they meant “scarcely better than the villains”.

I saw it in prose fiction as well. Bleah people living bleah lives with not a hero to be found.

When I saw the movie, I wrote out an anguished essay on the usenet group “rec.arts.comics” titled “Where have all the heroes gone.” The one line just struck so deeply to the core of my being.

I will never be that hero. I like to think that the dream, however, might make me a better person than I would have been.

And that’s why I love the idea of Human Wave.

And so I leave you with this musical interlude:

(Yes, the production values are cheesy but I love it for the pure unvarnished emotion.)

 

And pity Within Temptation doesn’t have an official video for this one.

 

2017 Dragon Awards Finalist List

The list of finalists for the 2017 Dragon Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy is now out.  It’s an interesting set of categories and with quite a number of interesting items in each one.  Voting is open so feel free to register and vote for works you like.

Best Science Fiction Novel
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey
Death’s End by Cixin Liu
Escaping Infinity by Richard Paolinelli
Rise by Brian Guthrie
Space Tripping by Patrick Edwards
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi
The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
A Sea of Skulls by Vox Day
Beast Master by Shayne Silvers
Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo
The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta
Wings of Justice by Michael-Scott Earle

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
Firebrand by A.J. Hartley
It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett
Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland by L. Jagi Lamplighter
Swan Knight’s Son by John C Wright
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Allies and Enemies: Exiles by Amy J. Murphy
Caine’s Mutiny by Charles E. Gannon
Cartwright’s Cavaliers by Mark Wandrey
Invasion: Resistance by J.F. Holmes
Iron Dragoons by Richard Fox
Star Realms: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz
Starship Liberator by B.V. Larson and David Van Dyke
The Span of Empire by Eric Flint and David Carrico

Best Alternate History Novel
1636: The Ottoman Onslaught by Eric Flint
A Change in Crime by D.R. Perry
Another Girl, Another Planet by Lou Antonelli
Breath of Earth by Beth Cato
Fallout: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove
No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah
The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville
Witchy Eye by D.J. Butler

Best Apocalyptic Novel
A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys
American War by Omar El Akkad
Codename: Unsub by Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz
Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
ZK: Falling by J.F. Holmes

Best Horror Novel
A God in the Shed by J-F Dubeau
Blood of Invidia by Tom Tinney and Morgen Batten
Donn’s Hill by Caryn Larrinaga
Live and Let Bite by Declan Finn
Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells
The Bleak December by Kevin G. Summers
The Changeling by Victor LaValle
The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood

Best Comic Book
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eleven by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs
Monstress by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
Motor Girl by Terry Moore
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa
Saga by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples
The Dresden Files: Dog Men by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, Diego Galindo
Wynonna Earp Legends by Beau Smith, Tim Rozon, Melanie Scrofano, Chris Evenhuis

Best Graphic Novel
Clive Barker Nightbreed #3 by Marc Andreyko, Clive Barker, Emmanuel Xerx Javier
Girl Genius: the Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne, Book 2: The City of Lightning by Phil and Kaja Foglio
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Wild Card by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez
Love is Love by Marc Andreyko, Sarah Gaydos, James S. Rich
March Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris
Stuck in My Head by J.R. Mounts

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
Doctor Who, BBC
Lucifer, Fox
Marvel’s Agents of Shield, ABC
Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Sky1
Stranger Things, Netflix
The Expanse, Syfy
Westworld, HBO
Wynonna Earp, Syfy

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve
Doctor Strange directed by Scott Derrickson
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 directed by James Gunn
Logan directed by James Mangold
Passengers directed by Morten Tyldum
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards
Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game
Dishonored 2 by Arkane Studios
Final Fantasy XV by Square Enix
Mass Effect: Andromeda by Bioware
NieR: Automata by PlatinumGames
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by Nintendo
Titanfall 2 by Respawn Entertainment

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game
Con Man: The Game by Monkey Strength Productions
Fire Emblem Heroes by Nintendo
Monument Valley 2 by Ustwogames
Pokemon GO by Niantic
Sky Dancer by Pine Entertainment
Super Mario Run by Nintendo

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk by Avalon Hill
Gloomhaven by Cephalofair Games
Hero Realms by White Wizard Games
Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) by Fantasy Flight Games
Scythe by Stonemaier Games
Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
A Shadow Across the Galaxy X-Wing Wave X by Fantasy Flight Games
Bloodborne: The Card Game by CMON Limited
Dark Souls: The Board Game by Steamforged Games
Magic the Gathering: Eldritch Moon by Wizards of the Coast
Pulp Cthulhu by Chaosium
Star Wars: Destiny by Fantasy Flight Games