Pixel Scroll 7/29 To Scroll in Italbar

American exceptionalism, Madeleine L’Engle, sci-fi music, and another trailer about a movie you’re likely to skip, all in today’s Scroll.

(1) Did an American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? While Superman was fictional, a super-manhole-cover may actually have flown “faster than a speeding bullet.”

The next month, in [an underground nuclear bomb] test codenamed Pascal B, the team wanted to experiment with reducing the air pressure in the explosives chamber to see how that affected the explosion and radiation spread. A four-inch-thick concrete and metal cap weighing at least half a ton was placed over a 400ft-deep borehole after the bomb was installed below. The lid was then welded shut to seal in the equipment.

Before the experiment, Dr Brownlee had calculated the force that would be exerted on the cap, and knew that it would pop off from the pressure of the detonation. As a result, the team installed a high-speed camera to see exactly what happened to the plug.

The camera was set up to record one frame every millisecond. When the nuke blew, the lid was caught in the first frame and then disappeared from view. Judging from the yield and the pressure, Dr Brownlee estimated that it left the ground at more than 60 kilometres per second, or more than five times the escape velocity of our planet. It may not have made it that far, though – in fact the boffin, who retired in 1992, believes it never made it into space, but the legend of Pascal B lives on.

“I have no idea what happened to the cap, but I always assumed that it was probably vaporized before it went into space. It is conceivable that it made it,” he told us.

(2) And after reading that story, I’m certain everyone can see why the Mutual UFO Network’s “Track UFOs” tool is indispensable. 😉

(3) SF Signal’s always-interesting Mind Meld feature asks “What Books Surprised You the Most and Exceeded Your Expectations?” of Renay from Lady Business, Marc Turner, Ilana C. Myer, Kenny Soward, Marion Deeds, Eric Christensen, and Delilah S. Dawson.

One of the books singled out as a pleasant surprise is a Hugo nominee. Ahh – but which one?

(4) Today’s birthday boy – Ray Harryhausen!

Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Diana Harryhausen.

Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman and Diana Harryhausen.

(5) Madeleine L’Engle deserves the accolades paid by the writer in the body of this post for Mental Floss. Not so much the editor’s headline “How ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Changed Sci-Fi Forever” – because it didn’t.

The book, published at the beginning of the second wave of feminism, also carried a groundbreaking message: Girls could do anything boys could do, and better. A year later, The Feminine Mystique, written by L’Engle’s former classmate Betty Friedan, would emerge as a platform for the frustrated American housewife, and Congress would pass the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal to pay a woman less than what a man would earn for the same job. To some extent, Mrs. Murry in A Wrinkle in Time is already living the future: She’s a brilliant scientist who works alongside her husband and in his absence, too; later in the series, she wins a Nobel Prize. (Math whiz Meg would grow up to follow similar pursuits.) And Meg, a girl, is able to succeed where the men and boys—Calvin, Charles Wallace, and her father—cannot.

With that character so like herself, L’Engle struck back against the 1950s ideal of the woman whose duty was to home and family (the same expectations that conflicted the author in her thirties). Instead of staying at home, Meg goes out into the universe, exploring uncharted territories and unheard-of planets.

At the time, science fiction for and by women was a rarity. There was no one like Meg Murry before Meg Murry, though she left a legacy to be picked up by contemporary young adult heroines like The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen and the Harry Potter series’ Hermione Granger. Beyond creating this new type of heroine, A Wrinkle in Time, along with Norton Juster’s 1961 book The Phantom Tollbooth, changed science fiction itself, opening “the American juvenile tradition to the literature of ‘What if?’ as a rewarding and honorable alternative to realism in storytelling,” writes Marcus. This shift, in turn, opened doors for writers like Lloyd Alexander and Ursula K. Le Guin. In these fantasy worlds, as in the real world, things can’t always be tied up neatly. Evil can never be truly conquered; indeed, a key to fighting it is knowing that. It’s a sophisticated lesson children thrill to, and one in which adults continue to find meaning.

I remember enjoying L’Engle’s book – which I heard read aloud a chapter a day by a teacher in elementary school. A Wrinkle in Time, published in 1963, was received as a children’s book. Women who did groundbreaking work in the adult science fiction genre like Judith Merril and Andre Norton had already been writing for years by then. And when Ursula Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey first appeared in the late 1960s, their emergence was facilitated by the New Wave.

(8) There will be a live showing of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Hollywood Bowl in LA on August 18 with the musical soundtrack performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Recognized as one of the greatest works of science fiction cinema, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 is acclaimed for its technological realism, creative audacity and inspired use of music. Behold the film’s visual grandeur on the Bowl’s big screen while the soundtrack is performed live, including Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, music by György Ligeti, and the “Blue Danube” Waltz.

The Hollywood Bowl will give E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial the same treatment on Saturday, September 5, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing John Williams’ entire Academy Award-winning score.

(9) H.P. in his post “On the Hugo Awards controversy” on Every Day Should Be Tuesday draws this conclusion  —

The big difference comes down to matters of style and subject preference. The Puppy nominees show a pretty heavy thumbprint of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Vox Day’s tastes. They run heavy to kaiju, superficial noir elements, and religious themes. They don’t align well with my own tastes, but then neither do the tastes of the recent Hugo electorate. If the Hugos are to be the sort of elite fan award that they purport to be, and once were, then they shouldn’t display such narrow tastes, whether of Puppies or anyone else. To that end, my hope is that all of this will draw more people into the process and lead to a more diverse electorate; my fear is of that electorate being dominated by factions. We will see (always end with a super strong closing line).

Yes! The solution is — fire the voters!

(10) “Do you believe in miracles?” This time it’s not Al Michaels asking the question but Jason Sanford.

All of which brings up an interesting coincidence — the 2016 DeepSouthCon has been cancelled. According to an announcement on their website, the people running the con “decided that it was no longer feasible to host the convention.”

I have no proof the selection of Wright as guest of honor and the cancelling of the convention six months later are in any way related. These facts may simply be two isolated events swirling in the chaos we delightfully call existence.

But this is still an interesting coincidence. Or miracle, depending on your worldview.

Some say that Outlanta picking the same May 13-15, 2016 weekend weighed heavily in the decision. If so, I agree it’s logical that a con with Wright as GoH would have trouble competing for Outlanta’s fan base….

cat calendar

(11) Samuel Delany, interviewed in The New Yorker, was even asked about the topic du jour —

In the contemporary science-fiction scene, Delany’s race and sexuality do not set him apart as starkly as they once did. I suggested to him that it was particularly disappointing to see the kind of division represented by the Sad Puppies movement within a culture where marginalized people have often found acceptance. Delany countered that the current Hugo debacle has nothing to do with science fiction at all. “It’s socio-economic,” he said. In 1967, as the only black writer among the Hugo nominees, he didn’t represent the same kind of threat. But Delany believes that, as women and people of color start to have “economic heft,” there is a fear that what is “normal” will cease to enjoy the same position of power. “There are a lot of black women writers, and some of them are gay, and they are writing about their own historical moment, and the result is that white male writers find themselves wondering if this is a reverse kind of racism. But when it gets to fifty per cent,” he said, then “we can talk about that.” It has nothing to do with science fiction, he reiterated. “It has to do with the rest of society where science fiction exists.”

The interview is behind a paywall, nevertheless the Google cache file revealed all.

(12) American Ultra comes to theaters August 21. With luck, you’ll have something better to do that evening.

[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to Brian Z.]

195 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/29 To Scroll in Italbar

  1. I love those films shown with live orchestral music. 2001 should be fantastic that way.

  2. Bastard!

    Sorry, congratulations! You swine!

    And no, that doesn’t apply to you, Peace.

  3. Alas, Meg Murray didn’t, at least for a very long time, grow up to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In the series that follows her and Calvin’s daughter’s adventures, somehow Calvin, who’s not particularly good at math and whose gift was specified in Wrinkle as communication, has become a marine biologist with both an M.D. and Ph.D.. Meg, meanwhile, doesn’t have an advanced degree, sometimes “helps Calvin with equations”, and primarily seems to be raising their seven kids.

    Later on, there’s discussion of her getting a doctorate, and one character believes Meg deliberately underachieved so as not to give her own daughter the sort of inferiority complex she had with regards to her Nobel Prize winning mother, but this isn’t confirmed by Meg. This does line up with what I’ve read L’Engle’s later plans for Meg to start doing more outside her family were, but these were never executed if true. Women in the sciences I’ve talked to about Meg really like the character in the core Wrinkle books, but are generally disappointed (as was I) in Calvin becoming the scientist instead of her, and the adult her being a lot less interesting than her teenage self.

  4. Actually three Hugo nominees are mentioned in the Mind Meld piece. One is just the series being singled out, but still.

  5. @Kurt Busiek: Picking up a thread from another…thread. “August in DC is the worst” is one of the great myths about the city. On average, it’s nicer than July whether you go by humidity or temperature – it’s about two degrees F nicer, in fact. And in most years we get one to two weeks of genuine autumn-precursor weather. (We also get 1-2 weeks in September that feel just like July, so it’s up and down.)

    Me, I love DC in August. The weather is nicer and everybody else leaves!

  6. Cancelling a con more than nine months out means they have more problems making themselves known early on than just a possibly unpopular GoH. It may be a big factor, it may not. I know nothing about DSC, so anything I say is purely conjecture. It just strikes me as odd that a con would be “not feasible” that far out unless the organization putting it together had serious financial difficulties affecting it now.

  7. Mike: It was Al MICHAELS who believed in miracles, not “Al Michael.” Martin

  8. Checking in to check the little box, before I respond to Kyra’s eventual posting of the next bracket.

    Be aware: I am melting, so care should maybe be taken in reading my posts. Don’t get melted Lis all over you.

  9. “August in DC is the worst” is one of the great myths about the city. On average, it’s nicer than July whether you go by humidity or temperature – it’s about two degrees F nicer, in fact.

    I don’t think I said it was the worst, I just said I didn’t want to go. And two degrees isn’t enough to make a difference.

    But East Coast summers are why I moved to the Pacific Northwest.

    [New England winters are why my wife was happy to move as well.]

    kdb

  10. But East Coast summers are why I moved to the Pacific Northwest.

    Is this the appropriate time to mention that New Yorker piece about the ruinous and inevitable quake/tsunami combo that’s going to wreck the PNW?

  11. Scrollin’, scrollin’, scrollin’ / Keep those puppies scrollin’…

    Scroll the dice

    California Scroll with wasabi

  12. The Puppy nominees show a pretty heavy thumbprint of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and Vox Day’s tastes.

    Then again the non-puppy nominees have had a very clear thumbprint of the several thousand members of WorldCon, so it’s a wash really,

  13. Did an American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space?

    Surely this the wrong question? Things had been getting into space from V2s on, the first animals in space went up in 1947, ten years before this event. What Sputnik acheived wasn’t simply getting up there, it was getting into a stable orbit and there’s no suggestion that the manhole cover managed that.

  14. The 50’s-and-before bracket will be up shortly. As always, you can vote for one member of a pair, a tie, abstain, or vote for something off the bracket entirely from the right period.

    Just FYI, This bracket in particular contains a fair number of what I would consider Deep Cuts. While there are definitely works on it that remain popular to the present day, there are others that were influential but are no longer widely read.

  15. Deep in the mists of time lurks the period … BEFORE THE 1960’S!

    50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

  16. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    Pass on all the rest. Not read enough of them to have an opinion.

  17. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

  18. I’ll vote on two:

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe
    Haven’t read the Dunsay but surely it has to be Poe.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES: Dracula, Bram Stoker
    Dream quest is self indulgent waffle. Dracula is a better book and still reads well. Maybe The Case of Charles Dexter Ward might have stood up against old-pointy teeth.

  19. Once again, I am awake far too early.

    50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald
    I loved this book. The end of The Book of Merlyn made me cry. Of course, I was about twelve at the time, but it stuck.

    I’m surprised by this George MacDonald–At The Back of the North Wind would have made this a tougher bracket for me.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe
    This bracket title made me laugh! Who did the Poe concept album?

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft
    oooo tough one! Dracula is influential, but Dream-Quest is one I have actually re-read recently. Lovecraft.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell
    abstain, having read neither.
    EDIT: Write in Silverlock by John Myers Myers!

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison
    Eddison, Eddison totally Eddison!

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
    Voting for Mirrlees. Why not The Compleat Enchanter?

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber
    FAFHRD AND GREY MOUSER 4EVA!

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
    abstain, never read M&M.

    I am both looking forward to and dreading the next few brackets.

  20. 1. The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Yes, love this one. Both movie and book.

    2. The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    Poe will always be horror for me and nothing else. There he is the supreme ruler, beating even Lovecraft. So left with Dunsany for fantasy. That is something I can live with as I really liked the language of this book.

    3. No, will not vote for horror authors here. But even if Lovecraft is always Lovecraft, Dracula created a love of vampires that have been with me since.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    Red Shadows, Robert E. Howard. Always liked Solomon Kane better than Conan.

    8. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov.

  21. Oh boy. Surprisingly tricky.

    1. White.
    2. Um. Argh. Poe.
    3. Right. The two guys who gave us the most omnipresent mythos of the 20th century. THANKS A MILLION KYRA’S DICE. I’m going to eschew the fellow Irishman to vote for the racist: Lovecraft.
    4. This one is giving me whiplash, but Vance.
    5. Mmmm. At their best the Conan stories are pretty amazing, (a certain File 770 commenter even managed to put out a justly acclaimed comics series) but Eddison.
    6. Mirlees.
    7. Moore. Love Leiber, but my reading of his stuff has been too sporadic. The Chaykin/Mignola Fafhrd and Grey Mouser comic is an all-time great, though.
    8. Hurrrrrts. Bulgakov because I once cycled round a stage holding a bunch of flowers and reciting my lines in a performance of Black Snow.

    And I’m annoyed with myself because I should have done a write-in for The Third Policeman in the last bracket. No write-ins this time, but if there had been it would have been The Crock of Gold by James Stephens.

  22. Let’s begin with a tip of the hat to Lin Carter and the old Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. Some tough choices here.

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The greatest novel of Faerie, although he never uses the term, ever.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison
    Easiest choice on the list.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Would go with Leiber if it was the entire series.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

  23. 1. The Once and Future King, T.H. White

    Contains a secret key to solving the Hugo Controversy (I wanted to pull some quotes, but if I started I wouldn’t be able to stop)

    2. Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Technically a play but it swept the globe as a book so I’m calling it the first modern fantasy and the greatest of all time and unlike Kevin Standlee I’m going to tell you why:

    a. the Devil is a really big poodle
    b. there was no Best Related Work category in the 18th century so I can’t nominate Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
    c. the “meeting the devil” story was only improved on hundreds of years later by Bulgakov and R.A. Lafferty
    d. I will never forgive myself for having clean forgot to vote for R.A. Lafferty until now
    e. henceforth every September until the Darkness has passed the Worldcon Committees must undertake a pilgrimage to the St. Rose cemetery in Perry, Oklahoma to lay the unused rockets at R.A. Lafferty’s grave

    3. Dracula, Bram Stoker

    a. there are bad dreams for those who sleep unwisely
    b. sorry, Lovecraft

    4. The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    a. notice this rent in my garment; I am at a loss to explain its presence! I am even more puzzled by the existence of the universe

    5. Past Master, R.A. Lafferty

    a. I know it will be disqualified but I felt like cheating and this is his first book and I’ve already mentioned The Devil is Dead
    b. it features Thomas More who isn’t modern and I didn’t feel like cheating for More
    c. “as you know, it was the Greeks who invented the moon”

    6. Tie between The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde & The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

    a. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality
    b. I know Wind in the Willows will be disqualified but it contains the second secret key to solving the Hugo Controversy and besides “Scroller at the Gates of Dawn” would make a great subtitle

    7. Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    a. I feel weird listing Fafhrd and not Conan, but there you go

    8. Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake

    a. sorry, Bulgakov

  24. > “Who did the Poe concept album?”

    It is the German funeral doom metal band Ahab’s album “The Giant”.

  25. Kyra on July 30, 2015 at 3:44 am said:
    > “Who did the Poe concept album?”
    It is the German funeral doom metal band Ahab’s album “The Giant”.

    Thank you!

  26. Bracket time already? Oh, the horror…

    2. Poe, because Elfland’s daughter doesn’t need a king. 🙂

    I’d rather see a “Complete Fiction” compilation over this specific work, because Poe really shines in his short fiction and poems. Come to think of it, I may have just such a tome in my cellar. It’s near a cask of fine Amontillado I’ve been saving for a special occasion. You should have a glass; I expect you’ll taste its equal… nevermore.

    3. Lovecraft, but for At the Mountains of Madness, although I could be swayed to The Case of Charles Dexter Ward in a pinch. (I believe both count as short novels, and CDW is the longer of the two, but I believe AMM is the better work.)

    This was a tough choice, but not for the usual reason. Both of these are people I don’t rate highly as authors, but their stories and ideas have had massive impacts. I much prefer what later writers have done in their playgrounds.

    That said, Lovecraft’s writing seems to me more viscerally attuned to his subject matter. His stories read as exactly what they typically purport to be: the half-coherent scribblings of a narrator who has just borne witness to something unspeakably horrible and must write it down to drive it out of his head, lest the memory drive him completely mad. Stoker, on the other hand… frankly, I just found the “assortment of letters” format off-putting.

    5. Howard, by Crom!
    7. Lieber.

  27. Some statistics, for those of you what like statistics:

    If we look at the overall winners so far (i.e., the winners of the first round from the 60’s to the 90’s), it looks like this:

    60’s – 90’s Statistics
    Female 38.5% (10/26), Male 61.5% (16/26)
    U.S. 65.4% (17/26), England 19.2% (5/26), Other 15.4% (4/26)

    Here’s how it looks, however, if we break it down by period:

    90’s Statistics
    Female 37.5% (3/8), Male 62.5% (5/8)
    U.S. 25% (2/8), England 37.5% (3/8), Other 37.5% (3/8)

    80’s Statistics
    Female 56% (5/9), Male 44% (4/9)
    U.S. 89% (8/9), England 11% (1/9), Other 0% (0/9)

    60’s-70’s Statistics
    Female 22% (2/9), Male 78% (7/9)
    U.S. 78% (7/9), England 11% (1/9), Other 11% (1/9)

    As you may recall, the first round of the sci-fi bracket (which was selected rather than voted upon) looked like this:

    Sci-Fi group of 32 Statistics
    Female 25% (8/32), Male 75% (24/32)
    U.S. 65.6% (26/32), England 21.9% (7/32), Other 12.5% (4/32)

    Some comments:

    Even before the last initial round of voting for fantasy, there are already more women on the fantasy group of 32 (well, group of 34), than there were on the sci-fi group of 32 (10 for fantasy vs. 8 for sci fi). However, even if the overall number of women increases after the last initial round, the percentage is pretty much certain to go down a bit; there are far more men on the 50’s-and-before bracket than women. It will ultimately fall somewhere between 29.4 and 35.3 percent.

    For both sci-fi and fantasy, representation of women on the bracket was strongly linked to period. Looking just at the 80’s and 90’s, the numbers would have been 47% women and 53% men for fantasy. For the sci fi bracket in the same period, it would have been 42.9% women and 57.1% men.

    Not too much should be made of this since in both cases the initial pool of candidates was selected rather than voted upon. In the sci-fi bracket, representation of women increased at every single step; it will be interesting to see whether or not the same happens for the all-period fantasy bracket.

    I don’t have too much to say about the distribution by country, except that the 90’s for fantasy is interesting, and if the 50’s-and-before bracket adds a few to England and the rest to the U.S., as is entirely possible, the distribution will look pretty similar to the selected sci-fi group of 32.

  28. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE

    The Once and Future King, T. H. White

    Probably the definitive Arthur book, from whence all of the other Arthur stuff since has sprung.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS

    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    One of Poe’s better efforts, if not one of the ones that springs immediately to mind when you think of him.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES

    Dracula, Bram Stoker

    On the basis of just sheer influence on the wider culture, I will go with this. You hear a lot more about Lovecraft’s work than you used to, but if I am not mistaken, Dracula is the second most filmed character in history behind Sherlock Holmes. (It is very possible I am mistaken – it’s been awhile since I’ve seen that list). Plus, by this point, we’ve reached the point where the vampire mythos is so evolved that the only way to make a dent is to write something totally subversive about the normal depiction of them. When we reach the point where Stephanie Meyer is writing stories about the angst of falling in love with sparkly Shoggoths, we’ll know that Lovecraft has reached similar cultural penetration.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA

    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard

    Always enjoyable, even if the general public today has a completely different view of the character than the guy Howard wrote about, mainly because he was portrayed by Schwarzenegger and then much the same way by Jason Momoa. Anyone introduced to the character after 1982 is unlikely to realize the character was actually quite intelligent.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!

    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    It’s hard to vote against Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV

    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

    Quite evocative.

  29. @Tom

    I’m not sure if I entirely agree with you. Even from the very beginning, L’Engle depicted Meg Murray as being quite brilliant, but also highly undisciplined and/or unwilling to bow to authority figures. I don’t think it’s unusual at all for that character to have proven to be unwilling to put up with all of the formal rigmarole that someone has to tolerate to obtain a PhD, while still being more than bright enough to solve equations that her PhD holding husband cannot solve. It also doesn’t surprise me that Calvin has one. He might only be mostly competent at mathematics, but being an effective communicator also implies the ability to grease the wheels, so to speak, with the various people who will be instrumental in obtaining the advanced degree.

  30. Oh, Gord, can we expect another frothing missive from Wright accusing the SJWs of killing, slaying, murdering, foully assassinating the con at which he was GoH? This will do nothing good for his martyr complex.

  31. Historical Bracket, in which I reveal that I am a Bad Reader.

    1. The Once and Future King, T. H. White, which is a cheat because I haven’t read Phantastes, but I’m guessing on the grounds of At the Back of the North Wind, which I like best of the MacDonald I have read still not beating TOaFK..

    2. Pass. Bad Reader has not read this Dunsany, and has no great recollection of this Poe. Bad Reader has Bad Memory.

    3. Dracula, because yes (and I love the epistolary), and because [whispers] I don’t like Lovecraft. Not that I think I’ve read that specific book, but…

    4. Pass, not having read Cabell.

    5. The Worm Ouroboros, on grounds that I tried some Conan once.

    6. Lud-in-the-Mist, and there are very few books that would beat this one. Bad reader has read some L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, but can’t remember which. Bad reader is thinking she might start making lists.

    7. Pass. I want to vote for Jirel of Joiry, but it wouldn’t be fair, because I’ve [whispers] read no Leiber

    8. The Metamorphosis. And hey, I read and remember both of these! I’m not super-enthused about either, so I’m probably still a Bad Reader, but that’s okay.

  32. 1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Just on the temerity of writing himself into the book at the end.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe
    That horrible, Cuzak-starred film aside, I cannot get enough of Poe.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    Ugh. This was close, but when your mind simply replaces all HPL’s adjectives with “spooky”, the choice is clear.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Just because RPG writers have turned him into an adjective.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    Easiest decision yet.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Abstain

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber
    Easier decision than Conan’s.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    I implore everyone to find the short film Franz Kafka’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

  33. 50’s AND BEFORE

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    Stealing the write-in above for Gormenghast

  34. Nick Pheas —

    What Sputnik acheived wasn’t simply getting up there, it was getting into a stable orbit and there’s no suggestion that the manhole cover managed that.

    If the manhole cover achieved escape velocity it would have gone into a solar orbit, which would have been enough for claiming firsties. The point is that — burning up in the atmosphere aside — it wouldn’t have come straight down again on a ballistic path.

  35. The Alan Parsons Project’s first album was Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Side two was mostly the Fall of the House of Usher, while side one had five songs based on other stories, like The Tell-tale Heart and The Raven. Still listen to it this century!

  36. @NelC
    Fair enough, but since Sputnik didn’t achieve (or attempt) full escape velocity and a solar orbit, it’s still silly to laud the manhole cover for winning a race Sputnik wasn’t in.

  37. 1. Phantastes, George MacDonald
    really important book, though I like The Light Princess and The Princess and Curdie better

    2. The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    Dunsany forever!

    3. Dracula, Bram Stoker
    Now, Bram, who is anxious about unregulated sex?

    4. Silverlock

    5. The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison
    hate the ending, but Eddings can write!

    6. Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    No contest

    7. Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    even though I’m still fond of the guys

    8. Abstain – haven’t read either

  38. “The Giant” is the only one I’m aware of specific to “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym”, though.

  39. Skipping down to the response window without reading other voters first….

    1. PELLINORE AND PERCIVALE
    The Once and Future King, T. H. White
    Phantastes, George MacDonald

    I’m pretty sure I read Phantastes, but it didn’t stick with me. One and Future King is the 800# gorilla in this match; it gets my vote.

    2. AND THEY SHALL BE MADE INTO CONCEPT ALBUMS
    The King of Elfland’s Daughter, Lord Dunsany
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Edgar Allan Poe

    Touch choice. I’m going with Poe.

    3. TALES THAT WILL CHILL YOUR VERY BONES
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H. P. Lovecraft

    Didn’t read this particular Lovecraft, but I never liked any of the Lovecraft I read. Gotta go with Dracula.

    4. MONSTROUS CLEVER FELLOWS
    The Dying Earth, Jack Vance
    Jurgen, James Branch Cabell

    Abstain. Dying Earth was brilliant (if overwrought and overwritten), but I’ve not read the Cabell.

    5. CIMMERIA AND ZIMIAMVIA
    The Sword of Conan, Robert E. Howard
    The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison

    Eddison all the way.

    6. KIDNAPPED BY THE FAIR FOLK
    Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
    Land of Unreason, L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt

    Huh. I’ve not read either, which surprises me because I thought I’d read all the de Camp and Pratt. But the title rings no bells, so I either missed it or it left no impression. Abstain.

    7. SWORD! AND! SORCERY!
    Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore
    Two Sought Adventure, Fritz Leiber

    I really, really hate to downvote Moore (Jirel was a swordswoman when that was unheard of!) but in fairness, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser have stuck with me more.

    8. NIGHTMARES OF PRAGUE AND KIEV
    The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
    The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

    Abstain. I’ve not read the Bulgakov.

    This is an unusual bracket for me; I’ve not read 5 of the works.

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