Pixel Scroll 9/15 Scroll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean — scroll!

(1) On this day in history —

September 15, 1949: The Lone Ranger TV series debuted with American Clayton Moore and Canadian Jay Silverheels.

(2) It’s a small world. How small? Ann Leckie, while plugging David Steffen’s Long List Anthology Kickstarter, show how small in this startling admission:

If you’re a longtime reader, David Steffen’s name might sound familiar. He runs the Submission Grinder, an online sub tracker for writers, and he is also the current champion of Ferrett Steinmetz’s Rejection Challenge. He received a rejection to a story some five minutes after he submitted it. The submission was to Podcastle, and was very short, and was timed exactly perfectly for the slush reader to respond to it almost immediately. I know this because I was the slush reader in question. High five, David! I’m exceedingly glad you’re doing this antho.

(3) The first film Alfred Hitchcock worked on, once believed lost, will be shown publicly this week.

A “lost” Hitchcock film that has not been shown publicly for nearly 100 years is being screened this week at the British Silent Film Festival. Three Live Ghosts (1922) was one of the first films that the young Alfred Hitchcock worked on and had been thought lost forever.

It has just been discovered in a Russian archive and is being publicly shown thanks to Laraine Porter|, of De Montfort University Leicester’s renowned Cinema and Television History (CATH) research team. It is one of dozens of screen gems being shown as part of the festival – the UK’s largest event dedicated to silent films, supported by the British Film Institute. Laraine, who has organised the three-day film festival at Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema, said: “No-one has seen this since 1922 and many Hitchcock scholars thought it was no longer extant. He was credited as a title designer, but it is likely that he would have been involved much more than that. “When you read his interviews he is talking about helping out and advising, and in those days it would have been a much more communal atmosphere on set. ?“What is also interesting is the role that his wife, Alma, played because she was an editor and collaborator yet received little attention.”

(4) A wonderful video about Penguin Random House midnight launch of Terry Pratchett’s The Shepherd’s Crown.

(5) Gizmag says it’s time to sell you the Star Wars Devon Dark Side Watch.

Companies the world over are clamoring to release licensed merchandise ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The recent Force Friday saw numerous products launched on an expectant public, but while most are priced between a few dollars and a few hundred dollars, rarer items come with a heftier price tag. One example of the latter is the limited-edition Star Wars watch from Devon, which will set Star Wars fans with very deep pockets back US$28,500….

Star Wars by Devon is actually based on the Devon Thread 1 model, but with plenty of Star Wars details added to ensure it will delight fans. Owners will be able to spot Darth Vader’s helmet, the wings of a TIE Fighter, and the Imperial Crest embossed on the crown.

star-wars-by-devon-watch-2
(6) Where’s the Official WSFS Ears-Are-Burning Fire Extinguisher? Kevin Standlee sure could use it about now.

I’ve been getting e-mails now talking about unspecified “rumors” about what happened at the 2015 WSFS Business Meeting. Well, the minutes aren’t finished yet…., but there’s no secret about what happened at the Business Meetings this year…..

(7) Jim C. Hines has a take about the Maynard/Valente exchange in “Cool Kids”

I get that a lot of us struggled growing up. We felt excluded, and we envied those who were more popular, more successful, more comfortable with themselves and their friends. Most of us continue to struggle. It’s part of being human. But this whole “Nerds vs. Cool Kids” thing is bullshit. It’s the same artificial and simplistic us vs. them, left vs. right, puppy vs. anti-puppy, Hero vs. Villain garbage that’s been poisoning people for ages.

There will always be small-minded people trying to divide the world into Us and Them. Some of these folks have found that dispensing poison earns them attention and followers.

That doesn’t mean the rest of us have to drink it.

(8) Disney is working towards a new Mary Poppins movie (not a remake or a reboot) says The Hollywood Reporter.

The new story will be set around 20 years after the tale of the classic 1964 movie that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It will also take its cues from the book series that P.L. Travers wrote. (The original, published in 1934 is based largely on the first book. The last book in the series was released in 1988.)

Rob Marshall, who directed “Into the Woods” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” for the studio, will helm the new feature, which will also be a musical.

Songwriting team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who worked on “Hairspray” and “Smash,” will compose new original songs as well a new score.

David Magee (“Life of Pi”) is board to write the screenplay.

As detailed in Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” Travers’ had testy relationship with Walt Disney over the adaptation of the original. But the studio is working with her estate on the new movie.

(9) Not everyone appreciates astronaut and baseball fan Terry Virts as much as he deserves. Virts arranged to present a space-worn Orioles jersey to team manager Buck Showalter. But what was Buck’s response? He wanted to know —

“Do you have rubber gloves when you take it? It’s not like it’s been on the moon or something, right? … You don’t know what bacteria from Mars is up there or something. Next day you wake up and your arms are ate off or something.”

(10) Alexis Gilliland’s Rosinante series lives again in this review by James Davis Nicoll.

But I would credit his Campbell win to the fact that those two novels, The Revolution from Rosinante and Long Shot For Rosinante , really are fun little books, books I was certain I would not regret revisiting after a gap of twenty-two years 3.

(I do understand that’s like saying “Don’t worry, I know what I am doing” while playing with burning plastic.)

(And I hope including the parenthetical sentence spares you from unrealistic expectations of reading a nostalgic puff piece….)

(10) Lorraine Devon Wilke’s “Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year” at the Huffington Post has elicited much scoffing from some indie published sf writers – and now Baen novelist Larry Correia has deconstructed it in “Fisking the HuffPo because writers need to GET PAID”.

The thing is “good” is a relatively meaningless measurement. Ringo’s fans think they’re good enough to give him mid six figure royalty checks twice a year. Kevin [J. Anderson] lives in a castle. I’m pretty sure the average HuffPo writer considers me a hack, but then again, I get paid, and HuffPo writers don’t (no, really, I was shocked to learn that HuffPo only pays in “exposure”).  

That’s a knockout line as long as you don’t remember Correia is delivering this fisking free of charge on a blog.

[Thanks to both Marks, Will R., Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Anna Nimmhaus.]

396 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/15 Scroll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean — scroll!

  1. 1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff

    2. SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    The Magicians, Lev Grossman

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire

    8. THE ATTENTION OF THE GODS
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    White Apples, Jonathan Carroll

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    17. I HONESTLY DON’T MEAN TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    Perdido Street Station, China Mievillet

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    Declare, Tim Powers

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    31. WE WANT TO USE YOUR MAGIC SKILLS FOR PERFECTLY INNOCENT REASONS, HONEST
    Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip

  2. Hope I’m not too late –

    3. A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan

    5. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison – yay for Maia!

    8. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin

    13. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

    23. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

    24. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

    26. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman

    ow, ow, ow! But Hartman has better dragons and more powerful story.

    Need to read more …

  3. @Lorcan:

    Well, Declan Ganley tried, but didn’t get very far.

    True… but I think Ganley was to the left of Farage to be honest. And not quite as large a source of comedy gold 😀

  4. 1. Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone
    (forehead cloth needed, I like that Huff)

    2.Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin
    (more mopping of brow)

    4. City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett

    5. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    6. Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge

    7. The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells

    8. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin

    9. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

    10. Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch

    11. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    12. The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    13. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. (oh dear, lots of cloths please)
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner

    15. The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    17. To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    18. Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay

    20. Point of Dreams, Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett

    21. A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin

    22. Declare, Tim Powers

    23. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

    24. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

    26. (I hate those dice)
    Seraphina, Rachel Hartman

    27. (still hate them)
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    28. (ah here!)
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    29. Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!

    1. Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    2. The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip
    4. The March North, Graydon Saunders

  5. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    I am woefully unread in post 2000 Fantasy it appears. Just 9 of 65 and of course no pairs. Will lurk quietly hoping for a future match as contenders are duly winnowed

  6. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone
    The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff
    Abstain

    2. SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin
    Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
    City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett
    Abstain

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    The Magicians, Lev Grossman
    Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge
    Abstain

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells
    Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire
    Abstain

    8. THE ATTENTION OF THE GODS
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin
    Fudoki, Kij Johnson
    Abstain

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
    Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
    Abstain

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch
    White Apples, Jonathan Carroll
    Abstain

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    The Midnight Mayor, Kate Griffin
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross
    The Painted Man (AKA The Warded Man), Peter V. Brett

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
    Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    Liar, Justine Larbalestier
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
    The Diviners, Libba Bray
    Abstain

    17. I HONESTLY DON’T MEAN TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
    Chime, Franny Billingsley
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell
    Abstain

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams
    Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay
    Abstain

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
    Point of Dreams, Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
    A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
    Abstain

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    Declare, Tim Powers
    Maplecroft, Cherie Priest
    And anyone who disagrees is WRONG!

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton
    Seraphina, Rachel Hartman

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Fire Logic, Laurie J. Marks
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    Sunshine, Robin McKinley
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
    Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle
    Abstain

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    Ship of Destiny, Robin Hobb
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente
    Abstain

    31. WE WANT TO USE YOUR MAGIC SKILLS FOR PERFECTLY INNOCENT REASONS, HONEST
    Summer Knight, Jim Butcher
    Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones
    Abstain

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The March North, Graydon Saunders
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip

    This round, at least, I don’t feel Disgraced.

  7. > “(Also, if we ever do a bracket for graphic novels, Kurt Busiek will inevitably be a third, for ASTRO CITY.)”

    And I’d think RedWombat would be a fourth, for DIGGER.

  8. Nick Mamatas: I suspect the same process is at work with the testimonies that films like Heathers are somehow true to life and that the popular kids are the bullies and the lowly nerds the victims.

    Just to clarify, because I’m getting rolled into this, and I wasn’t arguing those other things. My process was actually a datapoint from my actual life [1], and those observed. I didn’t mean to argue that it was always like that, just to complicate the notion that “cool” or “popular” kids oppressing the “nerds” was something fabricated entirely by Hollywood. And no, Heathers isn’t life-like[2], it just appeals to people who lived those sorts of experiences. I’m happy to know they’re not universal, and hopeful they might be outmoded.

    It seems from the internet that the nerds/geeks/whatevs have pretty much won, but I have no idea what it’s like on the ground. I hope it’s better, I am convinced it’s different. Rev. Bob really got it in one with “hypersensitized petri dish of intersectional privilege”.

    [1] In which I quickly decided not to care about cool and popular, at least as the system defined it. So I wasn’t really a victim, though I certainly was a target, but my point was there was a system in place, the faculty actually nourished it, and this was not unique to my school. That it was Texas, in the 1980’s, and that football and the money it moved was A Thing, probably helped.

    [2] Dazed and Confused comes closer.

    [extra footnote] None of this is meant as a defense of high school logic being applied to fandom, or any other adult interactions, obviously. Somewhere in there, grownups are supposed to grow empathy, other interests, and a moral center.

  9. May I just note that I love our BiblioFilers? I’m seeing lots of impassioned support for books… and then the supporters abstain on principle. “I loved x but I won’t vote for it because I never read y”. “I hated q but I won’t hate-vote it down because I never read z”. And that’s not to diminish the passion or honesty of “I loved v SO VERY MUCH that it doesn’t matter what it comes up against; it has a permanent place in my heart and I must vote for it!” which is also in its own way a principled vote.

    No campaigning; no strategic-voting, no shenanigans. Just people who love the books. And that is why I truly love our BiblioFilers.

  10. [ ]

    2.Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin

    4.City of Stairs. No contest, really, but I’m still going to finish Laini Taylor’s trilogy. (someday)

    5.The Goblin Emperor, which I didn’t love as unreservedly as many, but still.

    7.The Cloud Roads, even if I haven’t read that specific Macguire.

    15. Liar.

    17.
    Chime, Franny Billingsley
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    Noooo. Tie.

    19. The Night Circus.

    20. Point of Dreams, but OUCH.

    24. A Stranger in Olondria.

    25. Coraline. Ouch.

    26. Tooth and Claw is a perfect book. So there.

    27. Paladin of Souls, also perfect.

    31.Daughter of Mystery, on the grounds of other Butcher.

    A lot of books I wanted to vote for in this one. It seems I’ve read nearly half the things lately, which is probably way over-inflated, but feels great.

  11. 1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    Abstain

    2. SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH
    Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    Abstain

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    Abstain

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    Abstain

    8. THE ATTENTION OF THE GODS
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    Abstain

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    Abstain

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    Liar, Justine Larbalestier

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    17. I HONESTLY DON’T MEAN TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
    Abstain

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    Abstain

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    Abstain

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    Abstain

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    Abstain

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
    Aieeeeeee! Tie.

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar
    ARGH! Tie.

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    Sunshine, Robin McKinley

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    31. WE WANT TO USE YOUR MAGIC SKILLS FOR PERFECTLY INNOCENT REASONS, HONEST
    Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones
    I liked Jones’s writing better than Butcher’s right from the start.

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The March North, Graydon Saunders
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip
    Oh, God. 3, 1, 2.

  12. Whoa, Ann Leckie is mean! I would have waited at least TEN minutes before rejecting a story.

    My own “worst rejection” story dates from before electronic submission, when I received a submission back from Gardner Dozois with a large yellow stain on the front page. I remember thinking when I saw that, “Oh God, please let Dozois have spilled a glass of lemonade.”

  13. Nick Mamatas wrote

    Odd how I never mentioned math at all and yet the stereotypical belief that girls, much less pretty girls, are not good at math, has just been assigned to me.

    Gee, let me quote your earlier comment here:

    There is a tendency for attractive girls to persuade ugly nerd boys to help with homework etc.

    So, your *actual* stereotypical belief is that girls–sorry, *pretty* girls–use their sexuality to get boys to do their work–especially their mental work–for them.

    And obviously, the only way this can benefit them is if this gets them better grades than they could get on their own, right? So the boys doing pretty girls’ mental work for them (in the stereotype you *are* expressing) would have to be better at it than the girls–sorry, the *pretty* girls–who are using them.

    As for math, you’ll have to excuse my own sexist assumptions–I grew up in a sexist society and it shaped my thinking in ways I haven’t fully outgrown–but it didn’t cross my mind that you might be thinking of Home Ec. But now that I think about it, there’s no reason that ugly nerd boys wouldn’t be good at Home Ec…

    So, sorry, wrong stereotype? Kind of? My bad, I guess. Oops.

    And whether bullies are the very most popular kids in school, or only “upper middle ranks” is much of a muchness to someone who was bullied and saw people treating her tormentors better than they treated her. Somehow I never saw the very most popular kids, whoever they might have been, intervening on my behalf. Pity–I would really have enjoyed seeing that.

  14. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    The Magicians, Lev Grossman

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle

  15. Sigh. I can only vote in one matchup here. Need to get some more weeded out so I have read both brackets.

    28. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

  16. My own personal observation and experience is that there are smart bullies and stupid bullies. The stupid bullies may not be the most popular, may only be middling ranks as Mr. Mamatas assures us, but they do possess sufficient low cunning to pick on kids who are less popular, and the more popular kids will rarely intervene, because that takes a level of maturity they don’t yet have. Teachers may intervene, if the bullying is physical, but they’re at least as likely to do it by punishing “both sides” for “fighting.”

    Smart bullies aren’t physical about it, are often in the upper ranks of popularity, and provided they have the strategic wisdom to keep their grades up, are likely to be admired by the teachers, too. Attempts to report their bullying will be wasted; it’s not physical, so it can’t be something that needs to be addressed. Instead, the target just needs to realize it’s all friendly, and learn to “join in.”

    I’m not sure why I didn’t kill myself in high school.

  17. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone
    The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff

    Haven’t read either, so I choose:

    Bold as Love by Gwyneth Jones.

    2. SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin
    Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint

    abstain

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
    City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett

    abstain

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    The Magicians, Lev Grossman
    Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge

    I vote for Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow, which is very possibly the weirdest book I have ever read, ever. Not my favorite, not by a long shot, but weird.

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells
    Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire

    8. THE ATTENTION OF THE GODS
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin
    Fudoki, Kij Johnson

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
    Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch
    White Apples, Jonathan Carroll

    A vote against Jonathan Carroll, but not really, since I haven’t read either, but I don’t like Carroll.

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    The Midnight Mayor, Kate Griffin
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross
    The Painted Man (AKA The Warded Man), Peter V. Brett

    abstain

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    abstain

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
    Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold

    abstain

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    Liar, Justine Larbalestier
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
    The Diviners, Libba Bray

    abstain

    17. I HONESTLY DON’T MEAN TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
    Chime, Franny Billingsley
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell

    abstain

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams
    Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay

    abstain

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling

    abstain

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
    Point of Dreams, Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett

    abstain

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
    A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin

    abstain

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    Declare, Tim Powers
    Maplecroft, Cherie Priest

    Hate Powers, haven’t read the Priest, must abstain.

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar

    Solely on the grounds that I loathe The Eyre Affair.

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton
    Seraphina, Rachel Hartman

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Fire Logic, Laurie J. Marks
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    Sunshine, Robin McKinley
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
    Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle

    abstain

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    Ship of Destiny, Robin Hobb
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    abstain

    31. WE WANT TO USE YOUR MAGIC SKILLS FOR PERFECTLY INNOCENT REASONS, HONEST
    Summer Knight, Jim Butcher
    Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones

    abstain

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The March North, Graydon Saunders
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip

    Arghh.

  18. @Kendall:

    … channeling Harlan Ellison (& no doubt others, but IIRC he’s harshly vocal about this) in their emphatic “writers should get paid.”

    No kidding. I still remember hearing some of Ellison’s rant after the ending of the 2007-2008 Writer’s Guild of America strike. (The strike responsible for many cramped seasons of TV shows like the second season of Heroes, and the creation of things like Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.) To say that he was unhappy with some of the results of the agreement ending the strike (an agreement which I believe the courts had to step in and enforce on the studios anyway) is to put it mildly.

    Then again, Ellison and his rather long-standing reputation can unfortunately be his own worst enemy in some of this.

  19. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    Abstaining on some…

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
    Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold

    How could you!? Damn. Lindskold.

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    Perdido Street Station, China Mieville

    Much as I like Point of Dreams, I have to pick Mieville.

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    Declare, Tim Powers

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    Sunshine, Robin McKinley
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot

    McKinley. Now, if it had been up against a Spiritwalker book….

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente

    I like the Hobb very much, but I prefer some of her other titles. This is one of my favorite Valentes.

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip

  20. And obviously, the only way this can benefit them is if this gets them better grades than they could get on their own, right?

    No, not right, actually.

    This is just another illustration of the problem of letting stereotypes do the thinking for you. If you wish to enslave yourself to stereotypical thinking, go right ahead, but you are not allowed to assign stereotypical thinking to me.

    Why might someone want another person to do their homework for them? There are several reasons, all of which play out in status-seeking, which is the core of actual bullying, and none of which necessarily have to do with getting better grades on the outsourced assignments:

    1. it demonstrates publicly that they have the ability to make one-sided trades with lower status individuals. “Do my homework” is rarely a private transaction, since that could actually give our woebegone nerd the wrong idea about the high-status girl’s sexual availability. The classic cafeteria drop-off is far more common, as if delivering work to a secretary to be filed.

    2. It frees up their afternoons for other activities—sports, parties, “hanging out”, school clubs and events, grooming and preparation for dates—that allow them to seek status, which are more important than doing homework.

    3. They can outsource the homework they don’t care about (any subject) to spend more time with and get even higher grades or accolades (status) on homework (any subject) they do care about, especially in college prep courses or for courses the will feed into their college careers (AP courses, college track courses, courses that make useful background for this or that college major).

    4. Outsourcing homework can help minimize interactions with teachers who themselves might be low-status, who might be interested in reducing the status of high-status students, or who might just be creeps/weirdos etc.

    And don’t worry—boys use their sexuality on low-status girls too. The homework example was just that, an example. But if you think high school boys and girls somehow don’t use their sexuality when it comes to maintaining status or bullying the low status, then I just have to wonder if you attended high school off-planet somewhere.

    And whether bullies are the very most popular kids in school, or only “upper middle ranks” is much of a muchness to someone who was bullied and saw people treating her tormentors better than they treated her.

    Well yes, this is why I stick with a more careful understanding of bullying than direct experience—experience isn’t always a good teacher, and doesn’t tell us what other people are experiencing.

    Somehow I never saw the very most popular kids, whoever they might have been, intervening on my behalf.

    I’ve noticed a fair amount of definitional creep on this thread—now not intervening, like social exclusion, or generalized hostile environments, are being conflated with bullying. A superhandy trick if one just wants to flip the script and fume, years or decades later, that fans are slans and the mundanes are all dumb bullies who cared about superficial things like popularity, but covert narcissism scripts rarely match reality. Bullying is a suite of behaviors carried out by bullies, it’s part of but not the complete cloud of bad feelings and unfortunate events that just happen to bedevil nerds.

  21. I’m am just making a post to mark the point up to which I have recorded the votes so far.

    Um … God Stalk?

  22. 6) Cuckoo Song
    7) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
    14) Privilege of the Sword
    15) Liar
    17) Chime
    23) Night Watch (I’ll take a cold cloth, Cassy. If this had been Archer’s Goon or the Merlin Conspiracy or Deep Secret or….)
    28) Sunshine

  23. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist

    If ASoIaF was finished, and landed the ending nicely, and that was the work going against LtROI, it’d be a tough decision.

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman

    I made it about half-way through Zoo City before getting bored and bouncing. I need to try it again, if the ending is as good as someone claimed earlier in this thread, but I’m still giving this one to Coraline.

  24. 1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone
    The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff
    Haven’t read the Gladstone, though it is now on the list

    2. SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin
    Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear
    Damn, this is a mean, mean one

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint
    The de Lint is somewhere in the TBR

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
    City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett
    Both are in the TBR

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
    The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
    Sanderson is only in the TBR

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    The Magicians, Lev Grossman
    Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge
    Both in the TBR
    I may not live long enough to find the end of it

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells
    Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire
    Where are those forehead cloths?
    my brain hurts

    8. THE ATTENTION OF THE GODS
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin
    Fudoki, Kij Johnson
    Only read one

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
    Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
    I’ve only read the MRK, though the Atkinson is now in TBR

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch
    White Apples, Jonathan Carroll
    Nope

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    The Midnight Mayor, Kate Griffin
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
    Sigh

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross
    The Painted Man (AKA The Warded Man), Peter V. Brett
    Moar sigh

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia
    His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner
    Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold
    I have a whole lot of reading to do, and Linskold is, guess where
    But I truly love the Kushner, so damn it I’m picking it anyway

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    Liar, Justine Larbalestier
    The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch
    Only one

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
    The Diviners, Libba Bray
    Welp, it looks interesting, so I’m throwing The Diviners into the Pile of Doom
    But for now I’ve only read the one

    17. I HONESTLY DON’T MEAN TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
    Chime, Franny Billingsley
    To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell
    GOD STALK
    Which, of course, means I get to vote this one even though I haven’t read Chime
    (But that means I have to add Chime to the Pile, so I went and bought it.)

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    Snake Agent, Liz Williams
    Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay
    Nope

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling
    I know it’s heresy, but I never really got into HP

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
    Point of Dreams, Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett
    Nope Scott/Barnett are in The Pile

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
    A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin
    Never really warmed to the Lindqvist
    Though I don’t know that “warmed” is the word for the Martin

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    Declare, Tim Powers
    Maplecroft, Cherie Priest
    Nope

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
    Oh come on now, did you really have to do this one.
    Really?
    I’m going to vote for the Dalemark Quartet instead, so there.

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar
    Nope

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman
    Nope

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton
    Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
    Nope

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    Fire Logic, Laurie J. Marks
    Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Nope

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    Sunshine, Robin McKinley
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot
    I love the Elliot, but the Sunshine looks good too, so I’m not comfortable picking here

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
    Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle
    Sigh, so many where I’ve just read the one.

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    Ship of Destiny, Robin Hobb
    In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente
    On the other hand, deciding is hard

    31. WE WANT TO USE YOUR MAGIC SKILLS FOR PERFECTLY INNOCENT REASONS, HONEST
    Summer Knight, Jim Butcher
    Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones
    Just bought Daughter of Mystery, but haven’t read yet
    I’m clearly doing to have to stop wasting my time with things like sleeping

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The March North, Graydon Saunders
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip
    Not only is this a three-way fight, but it is really, really mean
    I have only just started the Saunders (thanks for the links, folks)
    I adore the Nix, having read the whole series aloud to the kid when they came out.
    The McKillip is in the TBR
    I think I will just have to bow out of this one, feeling ill-used and grumpy

    But if you needed a tie-breaker on the three-way, I would vote for the Nix.
    Having put something good into your own voice makes a permanent tie to it.

  25. I’m not sure why I didn’t kill myself in high school.

    I hope your glad you didn’t now.

    I had a list of reasons why I didn’t kill myself. The list looked pretty much the same at 8, 16, 30s, you know for most of my life. In my early 40s the list changed in scary, terrifying ways. Then I got hit by a truck 2012, 45, and haven’t been suicidal much since then (don’t recommend it but sometimes neural damage can be good).

  26. 1. Only child. Not fair on parents.
    2. Cats would have to be rehomed, difficult for the semi-feral one.
    3. All methods either scary or difficult to achieve.
    4. NEED TO KNOW THE ENDING OF A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.

  27. @Lorcan Nagle

    I run hot and cold on Gaiman, but generally I prefer his prose to his comics (the first Death miniseries and his second (unfinished) arc on Miracleman are the notable exceptions).

    I’m the other way around. Love the comics, bored by the prose (with exceptions; the YA stuff is more to my taste).

    @LunarG

    26. Tooth and Claw vs. Seraphina; either way, Meredith will pleased.

    YAY DRAGONS. \o/

    … Wait, I have to chose between DRAGONS and DRAGONS? Ack.

    21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND (sorry for the muddled formatting, Kyra)

    3. A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
    To the surprise of no-one: BECAUSE DRAGONS

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
    City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett
    I’m very tempted to vote sight unseen since Anna tells me that City of Stairs has a DRAGON in it, but I’ll be honourable and abstain. 😉

    5. The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
    The 2015 Hugo winner in my heart. <3

    9. Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
    Because I ate through all of the sequels in the two or three days following.

    13. His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik
    BECAUSE DRAGONS. AGAIN.

    19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling
    Because I wasn’t yet eleven when the first Harry Potter came out.

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
    Ack. If it were both of them at their best… But Pratchett is and Jones isn’t. Vote for Night Watch. Alternatively: Dalemark, or Deep Secret, or or or…

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes
    Coraline, Neil Gaiman
    Eh, abstain. I don’t feel strongly enough.

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton
    Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
    Tie. DRAGONS EVERYWHERE. \o/

    27. Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Which I really need to reread once I’ve made a bit more of a dent in my never read TBR pile.

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE!
    The March North, Graydon Saunders
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip

    I’m abstaining even though I really want to vote for Abhorsen because I keep hearing about battle sheep and I’m intrigued. (My unusual amount of sheep plushies will show that I like SHEEP almost as much as DRAGONS, and yes I did roll an engineer in WoW specifically because I heard about the explosive sheep.)

    This round has so many DRAGONS in. Best round ever!

    It just occurred to me that I’m not sure I’ve seen The Amber Spyglass. Did I miss it?

    (Is anyone else hurriedly reorganising their TBR order in the hope of voting in more of these?)

    @Lis Carey

    Internet Jedi hugs on tap if you need and want them.

  28. Is there an award for Best Book about Dragons? (There is one for Best Book about Vampires, so the idea isn’t absurd.) I feel the catalogue of winners would be quite interesting.

  29. Lis Carey: I’m not sure why I didn’t kill myself in high school.

    The only thing that kept me from killing myself in grade school and high school was the fact that I could escape into SFF books, where people were valued for their intelligence and capabilities. I did a LOT of reading.

    After many years, I was able to work through most of that and develop a fairly healthy sense of perspective and self-esteem. But oh, do I have a lot of scar tissue. It’s still very common, decades later, for something someone does or says, or something that happens, to trigger the remembrance of a very painful occurrence from that time in my life.

    People who say that the targets of bullies just need to “toughen up” or “get over it” do not understand what very real, long-term damage bullying can do.

  30. Voting isn’t closed yet, but is within sight, as I am getting the tallies organized (and there’s a lot to tally this round …)

  31. @Cassy B

    I have a project on the side to try and make some sheep puppets; my Dad and I are working on a mini-sketch video for my sister’s wedding next year. He’s going to be giving his apologies from fictional Australian Wallangoola from the old family sheep farm, complete with terrible accent, misbehaving puppet sheep, and obviously fake backdrop.

    I really like sheep, and I’m totally looking forward to the battle sheep, is what I’m saying. 😉

  32. Cannot see battle sheep til I get out of The Dark Forest.
    In other news, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is just lovely.

  33. OK, closing the vote and about to post. As a reminder, the next bracket round will NOT be posted until the beginning of next week, as I will be away until at least Sunday night.

  34. 21ST CENTURY FANTASY, ROUND ONE — THE BIG ROUND

    In addition to the results below, single votes were cast for Bold As Love, Someone Comes to Town Someone Leaves Town, The Book of Dead Days, and a few ineligible favorites: The Dalemark Quartet and Assassin’s Quest.

    1. HOW MUCH DOES THAT MAGIC COST?
    WINNER (seeded): Three Parts Dead, Max Gladstone – 21 votes
    The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff – 11 votes
    There’s a lot of love for Huff’s book, but Gladstone’s smash debut took this one by a decent margin.

    2. SURVIVING THE AFTERMATH
    WINNER: Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear – 14 votes
    Powers, Ursula K. Le Guin – 12 votes
    This, however, was a squeaker until the end … but Le Guin has finally left the brackets before the final round, and Bear’s book will move forward.

    3. TRANSCENDING YOUR SOCIAL POSITION
    WINNER: A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan – 20 votes
    The Blue Girl, Charles de Lint – 11 votes
    Once again, de Lint’s work is much beloved, but against a site favorite with DRAGONS, The Blue Girl is out for the count.

    4. DOORWAYS TO A DIFFERENT CITY
    WINNER: City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett – 16 votes
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor – 0 votes
    A total shut-out! Between the popularity of City of Stairs and what many have said are DoS&B’s flaws, this was just no contest.

    5. EMPERORS AND KINGS
    WINNER (seeded): The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison – 44 votes
    The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson – 1 vote
    Another no-contest win as The Goblin Emperor CRUSHES The Way of Kings. TGE once again gets more votes for itself than many pairings had votes total. A force to be reckoned with on the field.

    6. THE OTHER WORLD HAS ISSUES
    WINNER: The Magicians, Lev Grossman – 15 votes
    Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge – 6 votes
    Cuckoo Song has its admirers, myself among them, but The Magicians made a splash when it came out and is still talked about more than many books.

    7. COMPLICATED COURTS
    WINNER (tie): The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells – 15 votes
    WINNER (tie): Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire – 15 votes
    When I saw this result, I thought to myself … yeah, that makes sense.

    8. THE ATTENTION OF THE GODS
    WINNER (seeded): The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N. K. Jemisin – 25 votes
    Fudoki, Kij Johnson – 4 votes
    A strong victory for N. K. Jemisin in a pairing between two books that push at the boundaries of Western genre fantasy.

    9. ENGLAND’S GREEN AND PLEASANT
    WINNER (seeded): Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal – 25 votes
    Life After Life, Kate Atkinson – 3 votes
    The popularity of Kowal’s book and the “curse of lit fantasy” in the brackets made this an easy win for the Regencyesque book.

    10. ONE DAY SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENED TO ME
    WINNER: Rivers of London (AKA Midnight Riot), Ben Aaronovitch – 18 votes
    White Apples, Jonathan Carroll – 1 vote
    And once again, the opener of a site-favorite series wins big.

    11. A VERY BRITISH MAGIC
    WINNER (seeded): Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke – 27 votes
    The Midnight Mayor, Kate Griffin – 6 votes
    Six votes can probably be considered a moral victory for The Midnight Mayor over a bracket titan like JS&MN. But JS&MN moves on.

    12. THE HORRORS COME AT NIGHT
    WINNER (seeded): The Atrocity Archives, Charles Stross – 23 votes
    The Painted Man (AKA The Warded Man), Peter V. Brett – 7 votes
    Similarly, seven votes against Stross’s hit is no mean feat for Brett.

    13. GOLEM VS. DRAGON
    WINNER (seeded): His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik – 29 votes
    The Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia – 2 votes
    Another site favorite with DRAGONS, another big win.

    14. THE ROAD TO SELF DISCOVERY
    WINNER (seeded): The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner – 25 votes
    Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold – 7 votes
    The vote score does not reflect the wailing and gnashing of teeth many felt about having to make this decision. But when the tally came out, most came to the side of Kushner in the end.

    15. WHOLE LOT OF LYING GOING ON
    WINNER (seeded): The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch – 21 votes
    Liar, Justine Larbalestier – 7 votes
    Once again, 7 votes is nothing to sneeze at against a popular series opener. Lynch moves on.

    16. I HAVE THE POWER
    WINNER: The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss – 20 votes
    The Diviners, Libba Bray – 5 votes
    A solid victory for Rothfuss here, but a number of sincere compliments to The Diviners attracted some attention – and possible book sales.

    17. I HONESTLY DON’T MEAN TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
    WINNER: To Ride a Rathorn, P. C. Hodgell – 14 votes
    Chime, Franny Billingsley – 5 votes
    GOD STALK. But there are certainly those who are bidding Chime a fond farewell right now.

    18. CHINA NEW AND OLD
    WINNER: Snake Agent, Liz Williams – 14 votes
    Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay – 9 votes
    Quite a close match, but Snake Agent moves another round forward.

    19. DUELING WIZARDS
    WINNER: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling – 17 votes
    The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern – 12 votes
    Also quite close, with both works having partisans and detractors. But the partisans for HPatOotP had the numbers in the end.

    20. TALES OF THE CITY
    WINNER (seeded): Perdido Street Station, China Mieville – 21 votes
    Point of Dreams, Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett – 14 votes
    I’ve been admiring some books for getting 6 or 7 votes against a Big Name. And Perdido Street Station is a big one, but Point of Dreams still made it competitive.

    21. GRIM, GRIM STORIES
    WINNER (seeded): A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin – 23 votes
    Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist – 4 votes
    Let the Right One In, however, stood no chance against one of the Biggest Names in modern fantasy.

    22. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF HISTORY
    WINNER (seeded): Declare, Tim Powers – 22 votes
    Maplecroft, Cherie Priest – 5 votes
    And there are once again those bidding a fond farewell to Maplecroft, but Declare is another site favorite and won handily here.

    23. CAN FATE BE CHANGED?
    WINNER (seeded): Night Watch, Terry Pratchett – 37 votes
    Conrad’s Fate, Diana Wynne Jones – 4 votes
    Another decision where many agonized, and this might have had a different score with an earlier book by DWJ. But such are the rules of the brackets, and Night Watch continues to be a dominating candidate.

    24. THE POWER OF BOOKS
    WINNER: The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde – 16 votes
    A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar – 13 votes
    A squeaker of a win in a contest between two much-admired books, but The Eyre Affair managed to pull it out in the end.

    25. SOME THINGS SHOULD STAY LOST
    WINNER (seeded): Coraline, Neil Gaiman – 28 votes
    Zoo City, Lauren Beukes – 9 votes
    See everything I said earlier about getting a few votes sometimes being impressive. Coraline is a favorite for many, so nine votes for Zoo City reflects real appreciation.

    26. DRAGON SHOWDOWN
    WINNER (seeded): Tooth and Claw, Jo Walton – 20 votes
    Seraphina, Rachel Hartman – 12 votes
    In the case of DRAGON against DRAGON, the DRAGON always wins. Two great books, but Tooth and Claw goes on.

    27. BREAKING FREE OF THE PAST
    WINNER (seeded): Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold – 30 votes
    Fire Logic, Laurie J. Marks – 2 votes
    No shock here as one of the strongest candidates wins easily, but there were more than a few who praised Fire Logic even as they voted for the other.

    28. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUTNUMBERED
    WINNER: Sunshine, Robin McKinley – 19 votes
    Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot – 9 votes
    The Elliot book puts up a spirited fight, but if any vampire novel was going to stay in the ring, it was going to be Sunshine.

    29. SECRET TEXTS
    WINNER: Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle – 17 votes
    Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson – 6 votes
    The popular Ash proceeds to the next round, although once again this was a choice that provoked some agony among certain voters.

    30. A COMPLEX CAST OF CHARACTERS
    WINNER: In the Night Garden, Catherynne M. Valente – 16 votes
    Ship of Destiny, Robin Hobb – 7 votes
    Would another Hobb have done better? Some thought so, some not. But in either case, Valente’s intricate tale goes forward.

    31. WE WANT TO USE YOUR MAGIC SKILLS FOR PERFECTLY INNOCENT REASONS, HONEST
    WINNER: Daughter of Mystery, Heather Rose Jones – 15 votes
    Summer Knight, Jim Butcher – 12 votes
    One of the closest contests, with a high point in a best-selling series up against one of file770’s own. I’d venture to say that the closeness shows that people here will vote their own minds no matter who the candidates are – but I am also pleased to see Daughter of Mystery still in the mix.

    32. THREE WAY BATTLE
    IRV Round 1:
    The March North, Graydon Saunders – 10
    Abhorsen, Garth Nix – 8
    The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip – 10

    IRV Round 2:
    WINNER: The Tower at Stony Wood, Patricia McKillip – 14 votes
    The March North, Graydon Saunders – 10 votes
    No Preference: 4

    What can we learn from this? For one thing, those who like Nix tend to prefer McKillip over Saunders. This ended up being quite a close thing, but McKillip’s slightly deeper support moves her forward.

  35. Meredith:

    I’m abstaining even though I really want to vote for Abhorsen because I keep hearing about battle sheep and I’m intrigued.

    Just in case you’ve got the wrong impression, you’ll find the battle sheep in Graydon Saunders’ “The March North”. (Available, as far as I know, only on Kobo and Google Play.) I can’t speak for “Abhorsen”, because I’ve not read it.

  36. @Cally

    Oh, no, I’ve read Abhorsen (which is why I’d like to have voted for it, because that trilogy is great), sorry I should have been more clear!

  37. The Commonweal books are available pretty much everywhere except Big River and Barnes&Noble/Nook via Google Play and the Draft2Digital list — Kobo, Scribd, iTunes, Inktera, tolino, and Oyster.

    Big River’s thing-like-a-contract would make me flee if their payment terms didn’t.

    Nook is on the Draft2Digital list but their back end can’t cope with EPUB 3 files absent arcane back-compatibility mechanisms that might well break the EPUB file for everybody else. I decided it wasn’t worth it.

    Having said all that, Heir of Sea and Fire — the library didn’t have the other two, though it did have The Forgotten Beasts of Eld — was a formative influence. First-round tie with The Tower At Stony Wood? I’m going to go make faint gestures of amazement and disbelief now.

  38. @Anna —

    All the methods are too scary or too difficult is a compelling one.

    My two dogs would probably get rehomed separately, because while they both have safety nets, they are different safety nets. I can’t even contemplate it.

    My parents are both gone, my mother only this June. I am a sad, sad creature who, brace yourself, does not care about how A Song of Ice and Fire ends.

    I’m a very good librarian, and I love doing it. Now, if I could only get someone to hire me to do it again, rather than tossing my résumé immediately because in the struggling economy I’ve been unemployed for “too long”…

  39. Just bought and downloaded the Nook editions of Daughter of Mystery and In the Night Garden. I think I’ve read or bounced from everything else in the next round, and with the weekend to prepare I should be able to vote in good conscience in all the pairings next time around.

  40. Just FYI, “In The Night Garden” is the first book of a closely-linked duology; didn’t want you to think it ended in an odd place. 🙂

  41. … What is coming up next round, anyway? *eyes TBR pile* *considers what to read this weekend*

  42. @Lis

    By the way – what type of librarian and where? I’m not sure if I can help at all, but school librarians I might be able to ask my mother if she knows of anything? (Although I’m pretty sure she’s less connected in the USA than in the UK.) Regardless, I hope someone offers something soon, and that the brain gremlins quit bothering you.

  43. @Meredith —

    I’m in eastern Massachusetts. Boston north to Concord NH, and South/west to Worcester are doable for commuting.

    I’m a reference librarian and a cataloger, and I’ve spent most of my career in biotech and law firms. This might not be a good match for who your mom knows, but I’d be grateful for any leads or connections.

    Thank you. Thank you so much!

  44. @Lis

    I think that might put you too far out of her wheelhouse, but I’ll ask her and let you know if she thinks she might know of something.

  45. @Meredith —

    Quite likely, but I appreciate the thought even if nothing comes of it.

    And lest people get the feeling I’m a completely depressing, as well as depressed, wet blanket, my review of A Darker Shade of Magic (which I think I originally saw mentioned here, before Ford decided to gift me with the audiobook).

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