2016 Recommended SF/F List


By JJ: This thread is for posts about 2016-published works, which people have read and recommend to other Filers.

There will be no tallying of recommendations done in this thread; its purpose is to provide a source of recommendations for people who want to find something to read which will be Hugo-eligible next year.

You don’t have to stop recommending works in Pixel Scrolls, please don’t! But it would be nice if you also post here, to capture the information for other readers.

The Suggested Format for posts is:

  • Title, Author, Published by / Published in (Anthology, Collection, Website, or Magazine + Issue)
  • Hugo Category: (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Related Work, Graphic Novel, etc)
  • link (if available to read/view online)
  • optional “Brief, spoiler-free description of story premise:”
  • optional “What I liked and didn’t like about it:”

There is a permalink to this thread in the blog header.

Book_shelves_UWI_Library COMP

Filers Destroy Pixel Scroll

Filers proved today there is no such thing as an innocent question….

Bonnie McDaniel http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417321

By the way, since this is National Poetry Month, are we having Scroll titles based on poems?

The other Nigel http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417341

T’was Brillig and the Pixel Scroll did gyre and gimble in the web

Soon Lee http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417342

Two Pixels diverged in a Scroll, and I
I took the one less traveled by,

rea http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417454

Whan that Aprille, with hise pixels soote,
The scroll of March hath perced to the roote . . .

Jack Lint http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417441

Scroll Season!
Pixel Season!

Kip W. http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417443

Come file with me and read my scroll
And we shall prove the pixels droll
That Hugos, books, shows, and things,
Fans and working writers brings.

And we will crawl about the Net
And hear of famous folk we’ve met
And if your joy be piqued to stroll
Come file with me and read my scroll.

Jack Lint http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417448

In the middle of the web in the land of Glyer
Lives a brave little pixel whom we all admire.

I’ll just stop here as I’m not even sure if Glyer and admire rhyme.

Steve Wright http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417452

A Glyer who bore, ‘mid snow and ice
A pixel with the scroll device

Jim Henley http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417464

Downward to pixels on extended scrolls.
For the Scroll’s more full of pixels
Than you can understand.

The Scroll That Through the Vile Hive Drives the Pixel.
The scroll of pixels isn’t hard to master.
Pixel is Scroll; Scroll, Pixel. That
Is all ye file and all ye need to file.

The apparition of these pixels in the scroll:
Items in a vile, long File.
Before I’d build a pixel
I’d ask what I was scrolling in or out.

Stoic Cynic http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417470

@Mike Glyer
I can recognize a rhyme, it’s meter that always gets my goat

Well you know what they say:

Don’t do the rhyme if you can’t do the time….

Will R. http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417476

Oh Pixel, My Pixel (from the Dead Scrollers Society).

Stoic Cynic http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=1#comment-417481

I blame @Will R:

O PIXEL! my Pixel! our fearful trip is done;
The scroll has weathered every troll, the talk we sought is won;
The Hugo is near, Worldcon I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady File, the website bright and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where in ‘older posts’ my pixel lies,
Fallen cold, unread.

Greg Hullender http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=2#comment-417489

Pixels, pixels everywhere
And all the scrolls did link.
Pixels, pixels everywhere
Nor any pup to think.
(From “The Rime of the Ancient Filerscum.”

Stoic Cynic http://file770.com/?p=28284&cpage=2#comment-417508

Where there’s a slate, there’s a way!
Where there’s a slate, there’s a way!
Where there’s a slate…

We want to vote the straight ticket today,
But Space Butt Raptor seems just so… outre’
We’re gonna gambit that gambit all day

Where there’s a slate, there’s a way!
Left, Right.
(LEFT?!? WHO LET THAT SJW IN HERE! SKIN HIM!!!) *clangs, shouts, singing resumes*
Where there’s a slate, there’s a way

Right, right.
Right, right.
Right, right.

With apologies to Rankin Bass


Peace Is My Middle Name http://file770.com/?p=22527&cpage=5#comment-262347:

This is last year’s, but still …

The Puppies is a slate, ma lads, for the Hugo Prize she’s bound,
And the quay it is aa garnished wi bonnie fanboyz round.
Captain Torgersen he orders tae vote the Puppies high,
He’ll fetch himself a Hugo, lads, or know the reason why.


And it’s cheer up, ma lads, let yer hearts fill wi hate.
When the Sad and Rabid Puppies nab the Hugos for the slate.

Along the quays at Puppyheim the fanboys stand aroond,
Their angst all pulled aboot them and the salt tears rinnin doon.

Oh, don’t you weep, my bonnie Pups, though ye’ll be left behind.
For the Beale will pal wi’ Scalzi, before we change our mind.

Here’s a health tae the Son o’ Torger, likewise the John C. Wright,
Here’s a health tae the Monster Hunter, and the fans who fight the fight.

We wear the trenchcoats o the brown, an fedoras o the gray,
We’ll pack the slate wi Pups me lad, we cannae lose that way.

It’ll be bright baith day and night when the Puppy lads come hame,
Wi a load of Puppy Hugos, boys, and money tae oor name.

Like the ships all crushed in ice, me lads, while fishing for the whale,
We’ll try and try and try again until the Pups prevail.

Top 10 Posts For March 2016

Registering the highest number of views in March was Pixel Scroll 3/22/16 The Scrolls Are Alive With The Sound of Pixels, with quotes from an array of people, some pleased to be on the Puppy lists, others trying to get off.

The ten non-Scroll posts attracting the most attention were —

  1. Sad Puppies 4 List
  2. 2016 Rabid Puppies Picks
  3. Spectrum 23 Award Nominations
  4. 2016 Hugo Administrator Answers Question About EPH Testing
  5. World Fantasy Award Design Competition Announced
  6. We Are ALL SF Con Cancelled
  7. SXSW Holds Online Harassment Summit
  8. Diana Pavlac Glyer Makes Statement About Bandersnatch Eligibility Year
  9. The Best Movie Space Battles
  10. Fans Will Crown Best Military SF Story of 2015

Prelude To A Honeymoon In Vegas

Nic Farey, Roy Hessinger, and Jennifer (AlLee) Farey. Photo by Alan White.

Nic Farey, Roy Hessinger, and Jennifer (AlLee) Farey. Photo by Alan White.

Nic Farey married Jennifer AlLee on February 29 in the social event of the season. Of my season, for sure.

Nic invited me to the wedding during a Facebook chat. I was pleased to be asked. And glad of a chance to visit with Vegas fans I rarely see. Nic, however, thinking I needed to be sold on a journalistic reason to go, offered, “You can be the embedded correspondent.” That’s what they call those reporters who follow the military into action, of course, and I doubted that was a good title for somebody attending a wedding. Nic saw my point. He said instead I could be the War Correspondent.

Your War Correspondent stayed at the Green Valley Resort in Henderson, and on Leap Day a little before 6 p.m. I found Nic and his friends finishing a last-minute smoke outside the entry to the hotel wing. Nic led the way to the elevator.

The ceremony was in a beautiful suite upstairs. The middle of the living room had been cleared out, with two rows of sofas, chairs and ottomans against the window overlooking the pool for the guests. I sat beside Rani Bush. De De White, on my right, filled me about what her husband Alan, the official wedding photographer, was shooting. (Small world: I wrote up Alan and De De’s wedding in File 770 when they were the first couple to be married in the newly-opened Excalibur hotel’s wedding chapel.)

Beside us was a baby grand piano. On top was a mountain of gifts wrapped in white with purple ribbon – for everyone had carefully followed the suggestion to buy something in the couple’s Bed, Bath & Beyond registry.

As Nic and best man Ken Vaden looked on, matron of honor Lisa Richardson and the bride, Jen, entered the room.

Roy Hessinger officiated over the ceremony. When Nic and Jen exchanged vows, Nic’s “I DO!” could be heard at the pool six floors below.

They exchanged rings. Jen’s went on smoothly. Nic’s proved to fit better on a pinky than on his ring finger.

Following a Scottish tradition they shared a drink from a large cup.

As they were speaking the very last words of the ceremony there was a knock at the door. The videographers had just arrived….


Alan White took pictures of Nic and Jen holding their certificate. Then the couple had the first dance. The music was carefully chosen and Nic says he whispered some “At Last” lyrics into Jen’s ear as they danced.

The reception followed. Toasts were raised.

The best man offered a short speech: “That was it.”

Jennifer’s son, William Allee, made a slightly longer speech, first praising his mother, then teasing the groom. “And then there’s Nic – he has a very strong personality. ….Can overcome that nobody has any idea what he’s saying. ..Nic, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you…”

Jacq Monahan, De De White, Mike Glyer, Brenda Dupont. Photo by Alan White.

Jacq Monahan, De De White, Mike Glyer, Brenda Dupont. Photo by Alan White.

Then the mingling began. I had fun talking with Nic, Brenda Dupont, Teresa Cochran and James Taylor, and Jacq Monahan, past TAFF delegate and Cineholics film reviewer (her review of The Witch went up last week.)

Brenda Dupont, Teresa Cochran, James Taylor, De De White, Mike Glyer. Photo by Alan White.

Brenda Dupont, Teresa Cochran, James Taylor, De De White, Mike Glyer. Photo by Alan White.

We also were served scrumptious whipped-cream-topped red velvet cakes in plastic wineglasses.

Eventually I noticed I was one of the last people still there. Others had figured out the honeymoon couldn’t begin til they were gone. And having made a point of being only the War Correspondent, I sounded the retreat followed them out the door…

Update 03/15/20-16: Corrected name of matron of honor.

Top 10 Posts For February 2016

Three H’s — Hugos, harassment, and hospitalization — generated hundreds of comments on last month’s most-read posts.

The Pixel Scroll with the highest views in February checked off all three boxes — Pixel Scroll 2/24/16 Happy Jack Wasn’t Tall But He Was A Scroll.

Overall, the second most read post last month was about Mark Oshiro’s harassment complaints, which naturally means it tops the list of February’s 10 most-read non-Scroll posts.

  1. Mark Oshiro Says ConQuesT Didn’t Act On His Harassment Complaints
  2. E Pluribus Hugo Tested With Anonymized 2015 Data
  3. MAC II Statement on Data Release for EPH Testing
  4. 2016 Nebula Nominations
  5. Sanford Challenges WFC About Missing Safety Policies
  6. 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List Published
  7. Bud Webster (1952-2016)
  8. Goodreads Deletes Vox Day, Rabid Puppies
  9. SF Scholar Rob Latham Fired by University of California
  10. Morris Keesan Hospitalized

Top 10 Posts For January 2016

How Rabid Puppies planning shenanigans at Goodreads were discovered and booted from the site became the number one story here in January.

Otherwise, not counting the daily Scrolls, the next most-read posts involved Locus. Lois Tilton shook up the internet with the reasons she gave for ending her review column at Locus Online, and though she walked back the most alarming one, commenters still found plenty to spark discussion of the magazine and website’s review policies.

Here are the Top 10 (non Scroll) stories for January 2016 according to Google Analytics.

  1. Goodreads Deletes Vox Day, Rabid Puppies
  2. Locus Responds to Tilton Departure
  3. Lois Tilton Leaves Locus Online
  4. Suppose They Gave A Culture War And Nobody Came
  5. SF Scholar Rob Latham Fired by University of California
  6. There Will Be War Volume Ten
  7. Your Star Wars Spoiler Discussion Goes Here
  8. Ryan Kopf Sues Blogger Trae Dorn
  9. Are We Ready Again For George Pal’s Puppetoons?
  10. Online Nominations Open for 2016 Hugo Awards

Oh, The Brackets We’ll See!

Happy Birthday File 770 THUMBCooling wellsprings of fun scattered throughout the summer of 2015, Kyra’s polls were especially delightful because they were a game we could play with books!

Novels on her community-sourced lists would be paired against each other — how did the dice know which pairings could produce the maximum angst, forcing fans to pick between two favorites? The winners advanced through the brackets, the results of each heat delivered with Kyra’s humorous commentary, until we knew which work had been crowned The Best by File 770 commenters.

Here are the results of her first four polls.

20th-century Science Fiction

A conversation I remember vividly.

I don’t remember the exact age I was, but I know from the circumstances I had to be 12 years old or younger. I was talking about books with a friend of the family who was, I think, in her twenties. The talk turned to Ursula K. Le Guin.

I had discovered Le Guin, as I suspect many did, through the EarthSea books. I had gone on to read a great deal more. By that point, Three Hainish Novels. The Lathe of Heaven. The Compass Rose. The Wind’s Twelve Quarters. The Dispossessed. And The Left Hand of Darkness.

But, I confessed during this conversation, I didn’t think I had really understood The Left Hand of Darkness. I didn’t get it. Something in it was opaque to me.

“Well,” the friend of the family asked me, “Have you ever been in love?”

“What?” I said. “I, um, well. I don’t think so. No.”

“Read it again after you fall in love,” she advised.

So, some years later, I did.



  • WINNER: Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness – 31 votes
  • Mary Shelley: Frankenstein – 15 votes


The winner of the Brackett bracket is The Left Hand of Darkness. The book is awarded this lovely pair of brackets: [ ], suitable for framing or using in its text. The decision was made by the most reliable metric currently known – 31 people on the internet.

(And in my opinion, they have chosen well.)


20th-century Fantasy

[In this poll, Kyra tested her theory that The Lord of the Rings would defeat all challengers.]

Lord of the Rings

  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 38
  • The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin – 36

Tombs of Atuan

  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 36
  • Small Gods, Terry Pratchett – 35


  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 37
  • The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle – 34


  • WINNER: The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien – 44
  • Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny – 27

nine princes in amber

Tolkien is the WINNER, AND STILL CHAMPEEN in all pairings, although in one of them it was by one vote, in one by two votes, and in one by three votes.

(The voting patterns that gave these results suggest to me — although they by no means prove — that the three-way battle of the previous round, in which Small Gods and The Tombs of Atuan tied and The Last Unicorn came in a very close second, was not, in particular, the result of vote-splitting; people here really do seem to favor those works in almost equal numbers.)

And there you have it. Once again, a double digit number of people on the internet has registered its clearly immutable judgment! The Lord of the Rings shall receive this lovely pair of brackets: [ ], suitable for framing or using in its text.


21st-century Fantasy

  • WINNER: The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison – 28 votes
  • Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold – 23 votes

And the winner is Katherine Addison’s tale of victory through kindness, bridge-building both literal and idiomatic, political intrigue, and confusing names. Nominated for the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, winner of the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and now winner of this lovely pair of brackets:

[ ]

suitable for framing or incorporating into its text. We welcome it to the ranks of previous bracket winners, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.


21st-century Science Fiction

And, in an extremely shocking conclusion that no one could have … nah, just kidding, it was totally Ancillary Justice:


  • WINNER: Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie – 32 votes
  • Anathem, Neal Stephenson – 8 votes
  • Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold – 3 votes

And who is the second place winner? Removing AJ and distributing its votes to the second-place options, we get:

  • 2nd Place: Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold – 19 votes
  • Anathem, Neal Stephenson – 18 votes

An EXTREMELY close contest, but by the merest of hairs Bujold wins second place in what proved to be an uneven contest of Ancillary Justice Vs. Everyone Else.



Other Filers have followed her model and run polls on other topics. I plan to do a post on theirs next week.

  • The Alternate Universe 2015 Hugo Best Novel Organised by JJ
  • Rory Root Memorial Comics Bracket Curated by David Goldfarb
  • Live-Action TV Tournament/Brackets Curated by Jim Henley
  • Fantasy Movie Bracket Curated by Hampus Eckerman
  • Science Fiction Movie Bracket Curated by Hampus Eckerman

File 770 Turns 8

Happy birthday CROP

The File 770 blog is 8 years old today, and this is the first time I have ever celebrated — an idea I picked up from The Book Smugglers last week.

James H. Burns has written a special column for the occasion, and I am going to commemorate our epic bracket competitions from the past year.

Thanks to everyone who has shared their creativity in comments and posts. Help yourself to a slice of virtual cake!

Top 10 Posts for December 2015

In 2016 I may have to rethink the Top 10. The Scrolls are always top-rated because they are by design the town square where everybody gathers to talk. Sometimes an exceptionally large number of hits only means that bracket voting was in progress in the comments!

  1. Pixel Scroll 12/6 From the Mixed-Up Pixels of Mrs. Basil E. Frankscroller
  2. Pixel Scroll 12/15 Mother Pixel’s Littul Scrolls
  3. Pixel Scroll 12/18 Voxura vs. Scrolljira
  4. Pixel Scroll 12/17 We Also Walk T. Rexes
  5. Pixel Scroll 12/10 Plan Whine from Outer Space
  6. Pixel Scroll 12/21 Rudolph the Scroll Nosed Reindeer
  7. Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer
  8. Pixel Scroll 11/30 The Doom That Came to File770
  9. Pixel Scroll 12/28 The Android Who Was Cyber-Monday
  10. Pixel Scroll 12/8 When Blogs Collide

Scrolls excluded, these were December’s 10 most-viewed posts.

  1. There Will Be War Volume Ten
  2. Your Star Wars Spoiler Discussion Goes Here
  3. Puppygate on Tonight’s Jeopardy!
  4. Libertarian Star Wars Special
  5. Citations Provided
  6. Star Trek Beyond — Official Trailer
  7. CBS Sues To Block Axanar Trek Movie
  8. That Sweet, Little Old Gollum
  9. Syfy Airing Sci-Fi: Can You Believe It?
  10. Your Retro Jovian Award Winners

File 770 #165 Available

Another New Year’s Eve tradition — ring out the year with the fanzine version of File 770.

Click here — File 770 #165, [5MB PDF file]

With a cover by Steve Stiles, the issue features these original articles:

  • One Month a Grand Master by Larry Niven and John Hertz
  • The Rotsler Winners: Personal Musings by Taral Wayne
  • John Hertz’s Westercon Notebook, a report of the 2014 convention
  • Red Letter Days, Taral Wayne muses about the calendar

Plus reprints of three popular articles:

  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E by James H. Burns
  • My Father, And The Brontosaurus by James H. Burns
  • Viewing The Remains of Bradbury’s House by John King Tarpinian