Pixel Scroll 9/28 One Scroll To Live

(1) If film criticism ever becomes a duel to the death, people will say, never bet against David Gerrold when cinematic science fiction is on the line…. See his new review on Facebook.

All right, so let’s talk about SNOWPIERCER, a brilliantly produced movie that ultimately fails in the two most important ways a science fiction film can fail.

I’ll take the easy one first — the audience will suspend disbelief, they will not suspend common sense.

The idea here is that the Earth has frozen over. The only survivors are living on a train that circles the globe endlessly.

1) The Earth is frozen over because scientists have decided to put something called CW7 in the atmosphere to halt global warming. They do it with chem trails. It works too well. The planet gets too cold, everything freezes down so cold you’ll freeze to death in minutes.

Now, look — whatever that CW7 stuff is — you’re gonna have to put several million tons of it into the atmosphere to cools down the planet. That’s a lot of chem trails. It’s going to take a long time. Years. Decades perhaps. Even if you could retro-fit every jet plane in the world on its next scheduled maintenance, it would still take millions of miles. And you would think that as soon as the temperature gradients start falling too fast, not matching the projections, the scientists — or whatever agency behind it — would stop the process to evaluate the results. But no — whatever this CW7 is … bam, it freezes everything to a giant planet-sized popsicle.

2) Where did all that water come from? Even in this planet’s worst ice ages, there wasn’t enough H2o to make enough snow to cover every continent. ….

Unfortunately … even as an ALLEGORY this thing doesn’t work.

That’s the second and much bigger failure…..

(2) A killer review like that leads indirectly to the sentiment expressed in “Why Peter Capaldi Said No To Extra Doctor Who”.

It seems like eons pass in between series of Doctor Who. As with many shows which only run 10 or so episodes in a season, they’re over so quickly, and then there’s another year or more of wait before the show comes back. It turns out that the BBC would love to see more Doctor Who as much as fans would. However, the cast and crew, led by Peter Capaldi himself, have said no to requests for more episodes. The reason, according to Capaldi, is that while they could make more episodes, what they couldn’t do is make more good episodes.

(3) David Brin turns his thoughts to “Sentient animals, machines… and even plants!” at Contrary Brin.

In Brilliant Green: the Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence, plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso and journalist, Alessandra Viola, make a case not only for plant sentience, but also plant rights. Interesting, though science fiction authors have been doing thought experiments about this for a long time, e.g. in Ursula LeGuin’s novel “The Word for World is Forest” and in my own “The Uplift War.” Jack Chalker’s “Midnight at the Well of Souls” portrayed sentient plants, as did Lord of the Rings.

There is a level where I am all aboard with this.  Ecosystems are webs of health that combine fiercely interdependent predation/competition with meshlike interchanges of sight/sound/chemicals that clearly manifest types of cooperation, even communication…. as I elucidated in “EARTH.”

On the other hand, I also step back to see the qualities of this book that transcend its actual contents, for it fits perfectly into the process of “horizon expansion” that I describe elsewhere.  A process of vigorously, righteously, even aggressively increasing the scope of inclusion, extending the circle of protection to the next level, and then the next. See also this Smithsonian talk I gave about the never-ending search for “otherness.”

(4) And look for Brin to be in residence at Bard College in October.

David Brin, a scientist, a science fiction author and a commentator on the world’s most pressing technological trends, is in residence at the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College from Oct. 5 to Oct. 25.

As part of Brin’s fellowship, he will mentor selected Bard students on their fiction and nonfiction writing. He will also offer a number of lectures and discussions. On Sept. 30, at 11:30 a.m., Brin will talk with Hannah Arendt Center Academic Director Roger Berkowitz and “Roundtable” host Joe Donahue on WAMC radio.

On Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. in Reem-Kayden Center 103, Brin will speak about his book, “The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose between Privacy and Freedom?,” with Berkowitz. On Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Bertelsmann Campus Center’s Multipurpose Room, he will attend a debate on “National Security is More Important than the Individual Right to Privacy.”

Bard College is located in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

(5) Cheryl Morgan advises on “Writing Better Trans Characters” at Strange Horizons.

Trans people are a big thing these days in equality circles. People are asking what they can do to help the trans cause. Quite simply, the most important thing cis people can do for the trans community right now is to accept us as fully human; not as something to be gawped at and whispered over, not as a clever metaphor with which to discuss gender, but as ordinary people just like you. For cis writers, that means putting us in their stories.

I reject the idea that trans characters should only be written by trans people because cis folk are bound to get it wrong. While there are some really fine trans writers, there simply aren’t enough of us in the world to do what is needed. We have to be part of all fiction, not just fiction that we write ourselves.

(6) Kim Stanley Robinson defended his notion of future technology in Aurora as part of an article about science fiction realism for the Guardian.

Robinson makes no apology for the 21st-century tech of his 26th-century explorers, arguing that progress in science and technology will asymptotically approach “limits we can’t get past”.

“It’s always wrong to extrapolate by straightforwardly following a curve up,” he explains, “because it tends off towards infinity and physical impossibility. So it’s much better to use the logistic curve, which is basically an S curve.”

Like the adoption of mobile phones, or rabbit populations on an island, things tend to start slowly, work up a head of steam and then reach some kind of saturation point, a natural limit to the system. According to Robinson, science and technology themselves are no exception, making this gradual increase and decrease in the speed of change the “likeliest way to predict the future”.

(7) Les Johnson’s guest post about putting together a mission to Mars on According To Hoyt suits the current Mars-centric news cycle very well.

Since I work for NASA and have looked extensively at the technologies required to send people to Mars, I am often asked how close we are to being able to take such a journey. [DISCLAIMER: The very fact that I work for NASA requires me to say that “the opinions expressed herein are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.”] Basing my opinion solely on information that is publicly available, the answer is… not straightforward. Let me break it into the three areas that Project Managers and Decision Makers (the ones with the money) use when they assess the viability of a project in an attempt to explain my answer.

(8) MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  April 3, 2016 will be the next Vintage Paperback Show in Glendale, CA at the Glendale Civic Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. STILL $5.00

(9) Editors Eugene Johnson and Charles Day have started an Indiegogo appeal to fund their Drive-In Creature Feature anthology from Evil Jester Press.

Get in line. Buy a ticket, and take a trip to the DRIVE-IN CREATURE FEATURE. Where the monsters from the classic films from the 1950’s to 1980’s shined on the large iconic sliver screens. Where the struggle between human and monsters came alive for the fate of the world. Monsters created from an experiment gone wrong, legendary beasts long asleep, now awaken by melting humans, visitors from a far off world that aren’t as friendly as they appear. Monsters like giant parasitic bugs and ancient sea beasts on the prowl. A mysterious plague turning the homeless population into Moss people. A government sponsored monster goes toe-to-toe with a monster of Celtic myth. and many more are included.

Intriguing tales by some of the best names in horror, including New York Times Best selling authors and comic book writers, Jonathan Maberry, S.G. Browne,  Elizabeth Massie, Ronald Kelly, William, F. Nolan, Lisa Morton, Joe McKinney, Jason  V. Brock, Weston Ochese , Yvonne Navarro, including cover art by Cortney Skinner…

 

drive in creature feature(10) Alamo Drafthouse has commenced its touring food and film event honoring the 50th anniversary edition of Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes.

During the months of September and October, Alamo Drafthouse locations nationwide will host THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES Feast, featuring a screening of the Vincent Price classic paired with a delectable multi-course feast using recipes from the book. Topping each evening off, Victoria Price – daughter of Vincent and Mary – will be in person sharing memories of her father before the film with her multi-media presentation “Explore, Savor, Celebrate: Life with Vincent Price.”…

In 1965, Mary and Vincent Price published A Treasury of Great Recipes — now regarded as the one of the world’s most beloved cookbooks. The book features recipes collected by Vincent and Mary at restaurants around the world, including original menus from classic restaurants and photographs by the great William Claxton. It has come to be regarded as “one of the most important culinary events of the 20th century” (Saveur Magazine) and was recently named the eighth most popular out-of-print book of any kind by Booklist. The 50th anniversary edition incorporates the original edition, unchanged and in its entirety, along with a new Foreword from Wolfgang Puck and A Retrospective Preface from Victoria.

Here are links to the rest of the schedule — San Antonio, TX – 9/28, Austin, TX – 9/29, Richardson, TX – 9/30, Kalamazoo, MI – 10/6, Kansas City, MO – 10/7, Littleton, CO – 10/14, Ashburn, VA – 10/20, Winchester, VA – 10/22, Yonkers, NY – 10/26.

(11) Vox Popoli has posted a political cartoon by Red Meat and Vox Day about the nonrelease of 2015 Hugo nominating data, “Cabal? What Cabal?”

(12) Dave Freer has an axiom about who it’s important for a writer to please in a post at Mad Genius Club.

That is something that many authors fail to grasp – and not just new ones. I recently read a diatribe by Adam Troy Castro – who missed this completely (He was attacking John Wright, who seems to be engaging his readers… who aren’t part of his publisher’s tribe). I quote: “has been abusing his publisher in public and attacking his editors as people” which is a bad thing, according to Castro “being an asshole to the people who give you money is not a good career move.”

The latter part of that is certainly true. What Castro seems to have failed to figure out is that the money doesn’t actually come from the publisher. It comes from readers – the subset of the public who love your work. If you abuse them, you’re dead. If your publisher abuses them (which is a fair assessment)… lose your publisher. Reassure your readers that this is not your attitude.

(13) Myke Cole, in “You are not crying in the wilderness”, tells why he writes.

Here’s the thing about writing: It’s really hard. It’s a LOT of work. You do most of this work alone and then you send it away and you have absolutely no idea whether it’s reaching anyone or not, how it’s being received, whether or not it means to others what it means to you. I have said before that I am no Emily Dick­enson. I write to com­mu­ni­cate, to receive a signal back from the array I am con­stantly sending out in the world.

I write to not be alone.

(14) Alex Pappademas shreds the new Muppets series in “A Rainbow Rejection” at Grantland.

The most fanciful thing about ABC’s muppetational but seldom celebrational The Muppets is that the late-night talk show behind whose scenes it takes place has a female host. In this regard, I support its vision. I support nothing else about The Muppets except the pilot’s use of the great Jere Burns, drier than a silica gel packet as always, in a B-plot in which he refuses to accept his daughter’s interspecies relationship with Fozzie Bear. His issue seems to be more about Fozzie being a bear than being a Muppet — at dinner, he makes snide comments when Fozzie compliments the salmon — but in a broad-stroke sense, I am with Burns on this one. I guess I’ve found the one marriage-equality hypothetical on which I’m a fuming mossback conservative: Turns out I am opposed to the sexualization of the Muppets and therefore to the implication that humans and Muppets1 can or should miscegenate.

This puts me roughly on the same team as the fainting-couch wearer-outers at the Donald Wildmon front group One Million Moms, who took a break from their courageous war on homofascist breakfast cereal and sinfully delicious lesbian yogurt on Monday to declare a fatwa on the new Muppets as “perverted” based solely on the ads — particularly the one that promises “full frontal nudity” and features Kermit the Frog in a casual locker-room pose. A clock that stopped in 1955 and should be thrown in the garbage because it’s an insanely and attention-hungrily homophobic clock is still right twice a day: There is nothing good about this ad, and perhaps you should not be in the Muppet-selling business if you can’t sell the Muppets in 2015 without adding the implication that Kermit fucks, let alone that Miss Piggy wants to fuck Nathan Fillion.

(15) Marc Scott Zicree has posted a new Mr. Sci-Fi video about the Profiles in History room at Monsterpalooza that showed items from his collection that will be going up for auction tomorrow.

(16) The Mets, one day after clinching the National League East, had their rookies take the super hero “hazing” to another level… Or, rather, they removed another level…

new-york-mets-rookies-underwear

[Thanks to James H. Burns, Andrew Porter, the other Mark, SF Site News, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kendall.]

396 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/28 One Scroll To Live

  1. Re: the Nagata novels. The Trials was almost published last year by her own Mythic Island Press (as the original edition of The Red: First Light was in 2013) but was pulled from release (and from my review queue) when the whole trilogy got acquired by Saga. First editions of The Trials and Going Dark should be award-eligible for 2015.

    BTW, anybody looking for smart, innovative “military SF” that also includes various other motif families (alien encounter/contact, cyber-whatever, conspiracies) will find plenty to enjoy in other new(ish) series by Greg Bear (War Dogs) and “Zachary Brown” (The Darkside War). It ain’t all Ann Leckie in this neighborhood. . . .

  2. My two favorite parts of Cabin in the Woods were the Japanese school girls singing a song and turning their tormentor into a frog and just the weird assortment of monsters the facility had stockpiled. It’s worth watching the making of feature just to see them filming some of the random creature boxes.

  3. 4. some deus ex-machina ending (e.g. the characters from Seveneves drop down from orbit and rescue everybody from the train)

    But the characters from “Seveneves” can’t even rescue themselves.

    There is no escape from the endless and repetitive infodumps… even when you think you’re free, they drag you back in…

  4. Camestros Felapton:

    The point was that there wasn’t a better one. A well intentioned leader of the train will end up making similar choices – just as starving people will turn to cannibalism. John Hurt’s character is meant to exemplify this aspect. It isn’t a wicked system because it has been devised by wicked people or because the leader is wicked but because it is systemically wicked… I’d love to think of a satisfying fifth ending that would be more hopeful and less destructive.

    I may be remembering wrong, but there are some hints in the movie that the world is starting to thaw out, aren’t there? If so, then there’s another choice: take over the train and gamble that a less oppressive system might last long enough for the snow to melt and everyone to get off. Maybe the system is wicked enough that this wouldn’t work, but if the alternative is to destroy the train and everyone on it, it would seem worth a try. There’s even an argument to be made that continuing the current system, oppressive as it may be, is preferable to choosing human extinction as long as there’s a possibility of escaping the trap in the future.

    I agree that the oppressiveness of the train isn’t the fault of any one character, except maybe the designer. The train is a closed system that has some rather implausible built-in flaws (which is one of the reasons the allegory felt forced). But at the same time, it exists within another system that is in the process of changing or at least has the capacity to change, and under those circumstances, I found blowing it up to be a very unsatisfying resolution.

    Maybe if the train were a generation ship somewhere in intergalactic space, I’d look at the ending differently – but who the hell would design a ship like that?

  5. ust the weird assortment of monsters the facility had stockpiled. It’s worth watching the making of feature just to see them filming some of the random creature boxes.

    KEVIN.

    As it happens, I liked Cabin in the Woods almost as much as I disliked Snowpisser. I thought the underlying story of CitW worked very well, plus it was clever and often very funny, none of which can be said of Snowpisser. (Snowpisser might have been greatly improved if it didn’t take itself quite so damned seriously.)

    Sure, they both had downer endings, but I thought the one in Cabin was earned and made human sense, while the one in Snowpisser just didn’t. I had a long discussion with my best friend about the similarities in the endings of Cabin and of the video game “The Last of Us,” which I won’t say much more about for fear of spoiling said game, but those who know of it will probably see what I’m talking about.

  6. I thought Cabin in the Woods was just terrific. Funny, exciting, suspenseful, gruesome, terrifying, horrifying, and surprisingly humane. I was delighted to see all those monsters, some of which were mentioned in the commentary (Angry Molesting Tree). The race for the tunnel, where I found myself rooting for both of the protagonists who were at completely opposing purposes, was when I realized this was a very special movie.

    (And that was before the visual horror extravaganza.)

  7. The one thing that really bothered me about Fozzie’s romantic subplot is the apparent age difference involved. I mean, the Muppets don’t age from whatever they are, but I’ve never pictured Fozzie as that young.

    Well, that, and the fact that none of the jokes in that subplot were terribly funny.

    I hold out hope, though, from reading early reviews that said the second improvement will be a big improvement over the first.

  8. I took part of the essence of Snowpiercer to be that the train isn’t necessary but that the people running it don’t know this. They’ve convinced themselves and each other that it is, and if they were to clearly see survivors outside, they’d probably have them shot and then rationalize it away as target dummies or something. Analogies to delusional leaders of all flavors at the top of various institutions may come readily to mind.

  9. I may be remembering wrong, but there are some hints in the movie that the world is starting to thaw out, aren’t there? If so, then there’s another choice: take over the train and gamble that a less oppressive system might last long enough for the snow to melt and everyone to get off. Maybe the system is wicked enough that this wouldn’t work, but if the alternative is to destroy the train and everyone on it, it would seem worth a try. There’s even an argument to be made that continuing the current system, oppressive as it may be, is preferable to choosing human extinction as long as there’s a possibility of escaping the trap in the future.

    I think when my head reached that point post-movie, I began to really like it and to start overlooking its flaws. I began trying to think about how to run the train from a default position of Kerensky (i.e. you’ve just deposed the Tsar – now what?). That was too hard and we don’t know enough and I concentrated on the fish tanks and the sushi chef. I rated my choices by historical leader. Who should run the fish farm? What job should the sushi chef do? How much do the answers to those issues start looking like Robert Mugabe ir Chairman Mao or worse Pol Pot? Not saying those are the only options but rather different kinds of monstrous choices are then in play. Then I began thinking the film was much smarter and deeper.

  10. I may be remembering wrong, but there are some hints in the movie that the world is starting to thaw out, aren’t there?

    One of the passengers (the hacker that they rescued from the “jail”, IIRC) had carefully observed the outdoors, and noticed some changes year-on-year that suggested a warming trend.

  11. @Petréa Mitchell, well, for what it’s worth, I laughed out loud when Fozzie made an oblique reference to “bears” answering his personal ads.

    But I suppose it depends on knowing a little about that subculture. (Gay males who like body hair, especially beards.)

  12. Cheryl S.: It may have been SFF that made it possible for me to be a feminist, liberal supporter of increased diversity. I certainly bent much differently than my sibs and, as I’m the only lifelong reader of SFF, I think there’s probably some causality there. Maybe it’s just me, but having a brain stuffed full of nearly endless possibilities made it more likely that I’d want a life different than the rigid one envisioned for someone of my sex, ethnicity and class.

    I feel the same way. My father and siblings are hugely conservative and GOP supporters, and my father is hugely racist, sexist and homophobic to boot. I turned out just the opposite, and the only plausible reason I’ve ever been able to identify is that all the (non-message, according to the Puppies) science fiction I read as a child played a massive role in how my definitions of “right” and “wrong” became defined.

  13. I disliked the ending to Cabin in the Woods, although story wise it was pretty inevitable. It was the apotheosis of self-centered logic (much like the kids in 28 Weeks Later).

    I really really disliked the stupid “let’s have a big unsecured button that dumps all the monsters into the compound” control panel. That blew the suspension of disbelief for me.

    Snowpiercer was so obviously allegorical that I didn’t worry too much about the mechanics and enjoyed Chris Evans’ moral quandary. He rejected the individual solution, because it was too much to his own advantage, perhaps.

  14. So, after weeks of striking out in the brick and mortar book stores, and some weird delays from Amazon, I finally have The Godstalker Chronicles. Now I can stalk the stalk!

    However, from the get-go it is a fairly ugly example of Baen editing: the table of contents has “rologue” and “ppendix”, for Pete’s sake.

  15. @GSLamb : “I took them to be a “Yes, my decision will end life as we know it, but is the status quo worth saving?” moral quandary.”

    No, it works as an allegory again. Having destroyed the rampaging machine that was eating up the downtrodden for the comfort of the rich, the survivors found themselves in a state of nature – in a hostile world with nasty predators eying them. That’s where they – we – CAME from; what the movie was saying was that tearing down capitalism leads us back to rebuilding a system from scratch – but we’ve done it before.

  16. Doctor Science: Mr Dr Science read Linda Nagata’s The Red: First Light and liked it *very* much — I don’t know how late he was up last night, except “too”, because he had at least 40 pages to go when I went to bed. I’ve got The Trials coming (from the library, these are) already, but I see the final volume won’t be published in this edition until November. Was “Going Dark” e-published earlier, like First Light? Will it and/or the whole series be Hugo-eligible?

    I just finished a re-read of First Light and a read of The Trials. I’ve never been in the military, but I’ve worked as a civilian for a couple of branches of the military, and the action and dialogue certainly ring true to me.

    They’re very intelligent near-future MilSF and the author has, in my opinion, done an excellent job of projecting near-future technology. These books grabbed me early and kept me eagerly turning the pages. The Trials will definitely be on my longlist for Hugo nominations.

  17. May Tree: I had a long discussion with my best friend about the similarities in the endings of Cabin and of the video game “The Last of Us”

    I’ve just read the synopsis for that video game, and it sounds extremely similar to “Carriers”, a 2009 horror movie starring the new Captain Kirk.

  18. @Meredith: bravely answering your comment on the first page though I’ve not read the whole 169 or so that follow…. Hasn’t Miss Piggy been cheerfully lusting after attractive men (and frogs) since the beginning?

    YES! And she and Kermit, a THING! Did that person never truly watch the MUPPETS. I especially remember her cuddling up to Christopher Reeves.

    Look there’s a muppet Wiki!

    And with Rudolf Nureyev IN the sauna. With towels. Mostly.

    Her cheerful appreciation of hot men was a feature of her character from the start.

  19. I’ve just read the synopsis for that video game, and it sounds extremely similar to “Carriers”, a 2009 horror movie starring the new Captain Kirk.

    I don’t know that one, but what I was getting with the Cabin/Last of Us comparison was this:

    Va obgu pnfrf gur cebgntbavfg vf nfxrq gb fnpevsvpr n ybirq bar sbe gur tbbq bs nyy, ohg pubbfrf vafgrnq gb fnir gur ybirq bar naq yrg gur “nyy” sraq sbe gurzfryirf nf orfg gurl znl va gur snpr bs jung znl or gur raq bs gur jbeyq. Naq va obgu pnfrf gur crbcyr znxvat gur “Xvyy bar lbh ybir sbe gur tbbq bs nyy” Bzrynf nethzrag jrer infgyl hagehfgjbegul naq hacyrnfnag crbcyr jub unq snvyrq gb znxr nal xvaq bs n pnfr jul gurl — naq ol rkgrafvba gur erfg bs gur jbeyq — qrfreirq gb or fnirq.

  20. You guys are right about the polar bear. Happy ending. Amd thinking back the point where I stopped forgiving the film for its many liberties was the bug business. Oi people. Lots of folks eat bugs. As a delicacy.
    Now The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which I just finished with great pleasure, has some of the same problems of setting up a scenario in which trying to advance science is the ultimate evil. I really don’t like its message, such as it is. But I never ever lost my belief in it.

  21. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which I just finished with great pleasure, has some of the same problems of setting up a scenario in which trying to advance science is the ultimate evil.

    I didn’t get that from TFFLHA at all. What I got was that when a bad man meddled with the natural advancement process of science in an attempt to gain personal power, bad things happened. The bad result came about because 1) attempts to retroactively change history and 2) the technical advances came artificially, before the development of the corresponding scientific knowledge which could have mitigated the damage.

    But I agree with you, that book is a sheer pleasure to read. I thought it ran circles around Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.

  22. @P J Evans:

    I’ll believe that a trained accountant doesn’t actually understand it.

    As someone on the analysis side of corporate finance, there’s no end of things I’ll believe trained accountants don’t understand.

    (I kid, accounting friends! I sort of kid!)

  23. Now I haven’t yet seen the new Muppets, since it doesn’t air in my country. But add me to the chorus of those who wonder if the people complaining about adult jokes and muppet sex have ever actually seen the original Muppets Show as adults? Because a cable channel over here has been rerunning the original Muppets Show lately and it’s chock full of references only adults will get.

    I mean, in the 1970s the Muppets Show did their own interpretation of the Stonewall riots starring Gonzo and a bunch of pigs as well as Fozzie as the representative of the law, singing “Macho Macho Men” by the Village People.

  24. Bracket Round Two will be posted shortly. As usual, you can vote for a work, a tie, abstain, or vote for a work not on the ballot (published between 2000 and 2014).

  25. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART TWO:
    ALL THESE BOOKS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA EUROPA

    1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge
    Feed, Mira Grant

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    Passage, Connie Willis

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

  26. @MJulie:

    The ending of Cabin in the Woods felt just like the moment when, as a teenager, I realized it didn’t matter — even if there was a terrifying Lovecraftian Hell God as imagined by the likes of Jack Chick who wanted me to do dreadful cruel things in order to keep him from punishing me eternally, it didn’t make any of those horrible things the RIGHT thing to do. And it was okay to do the right thing, gods be damned.

    Seems like a good time to mention how much I love The Rapture, the 1991 film starring Mimi Rogers and David Duchovny. I love the way it posits, “Okay, let’s assume all this stuff is true. What should you do about it?”

  27. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART TWO:
    ALL THESE BOOKS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA EUROPA

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Passage, Connie Willis

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

  28. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART TWO:
    ALL THESE BOOKS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA EUROPA

    Looked at the first two and…I can’t. Not until I re-stock forehead cloths.

    ETA: Posted from 5774 where the wailing and gnashing of teeth caused by Kyra’s brackets still have not subsided.

  29. Argh, most of my favourites are already gone!

    21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART TWO:
    ALL THESE BOOKS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA EUROPA

    1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    Abstain, don’t like one, haven’t read the other.

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge
    Feed, Mira Grant

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    Sorry, Octavia. But Cloud Atlas hit me more.

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    Can I have Grimspace back instead?

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    Abstain.

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    Can I have Fortune’s Pawn back instead. Or one of the sequels, since the communication issues become more relevant there?

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    Passage, Connie Willis

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    Difficult, but I’m going with Kirstein over Cahbon.

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

  30. 1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    Passage, Connie Willis

    Abstain

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

  31. 1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    Look to Windward – overall I prefer Banks but a different pairing of books (e.g. Chasm City I prefer to Revelation Space) and I might have gone for Reynolds.

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    The Girl with All the Gifts, stabbed me in my feelings.

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    What an interesting pairing! I’ll go with Oryx and Crake.

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    Annihilation is an easy win here. I admire Blindsight but I’m not sure I like it particularly.

    Abstinence is a virtue for the rest 🙂

  32. ROUND TWO STATISTICS

    Less change than we have sometimes seen. A slight decrease in the percentage of women, a slight increase in the percentage of Canadians. Vampires and zombies still going strong.

    Women: 34.3% (12/35)
    Men: 65.7% (23/35)

    U.S.: 60% (21/35)
    UK: 22.9% (8/35)
    Canadian: 14.3% (5/35)
    Grenadian: 2.9% (1/35)

    Zombies: 5.9% (2/34)
    Vampires: 5.9% (2/34)
    Demons: 2.9% (1/34)
    Tavern in the Snow: 2.9% (1/34)

  33. 1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    Abstain. Either I haven’t read the Reynolds or it didn’t stick with me.

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon

    Abstain; haven’t read Chiang

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge
    Feed, Mira Grant

    Um. Ouch. Feed.

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    Abstain; haven’t read Mitchell.

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Kiln People, David Brin

    Leckie.

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    Carey

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    Abstain; haven’t read Nagata

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    Abstain; haven’t read Mandel.

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    Abstain, haven’t read MacLeod.

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Abstain; haven’t read Atwood.

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    Abstain; haven’t read Wilson.

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT

    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Blindsight, Peter Watts

    Abstain; haven’t read VanderMeer

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    Abstain; haven’t read Buckell

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    Passage, Connie Willis

    Abstain; haven’t read McIntosh.

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald

    Abstain; haven’t read McDonald. All the books I haven’t read advanced….

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    Kirstein

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

    Corey

    I voted in about ten brackets last round and five brackets this round. That means next round I’ll be qualified to vote in 2-1/2 brackets…

  34. Bracket, with commentary:

    1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    Sure it’s message fiction (Message: “Look to windward!”) but it’s a cracking good story.

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Kiln People, David Brin

    The part where Breq decides she’s not just going to vote however Scalia votes any more thrilled me.

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    Because of the poignancy of the scene where Melanie thinks for a minute that another girl has one of the gifts, but then it turns out she doesn’t after all. Oh: spoiler alert!

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    I always cry at the part where my Twitter buddy gets creamed by the woman who always wins every WAIT I’M SEEING THE FUTURE

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Love how Oryx and Crake fight at first but then team up to stop the real bad guy.

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    I’m sorry, a good steersman shouldn’t get lost.?

  35. @McJulie: Would you be surprised to know that I was also raised by Evangelical Fundamentalist Christians? Yep, there’s that moment where you realize that you would rather be damned, and the whole world with you, than worship the abusive Sky Daddy even one more minute. It’s a weirdly lonely and triumphal moment.

    It has taken many, many years, and a lot of patience on the part of my friends who are deists, to realize that a lot of people do not have an ultimately abusive relationship with their deity. Sometimes, I still forget.

  36. Huh, I think the first round may have actually had more pairings of books I’ve read. How odd.

    21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART TWO:
    ALL THESE BOOKS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA EUROPA

    1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Reynolds

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Chiang

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge

    A very tough call. The first time I read Rainbows End, I wasn’t so impressed with it, but when I went back and re-read it, I was really astounded at how much great stuff it had that I’d overlooked because no-cool-aliens. Rabbit’s one of the best tricksters in SF. Plus, dancing buildings! While I love the Grant, I’ve gotta go with this frequently-underrated work by a modern great.

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Abstain. Still haven’t read Cloud Atlas.

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    Not as easy a choice as it seems. I think AJ was the best book of a weak year. But Kiln People was somewhat underwhelming.

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Carey.

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    The second time I am _very reluctantly_ voting against Linda Nagata. She really deserves better pairings than you’ve been giving her, even though she survived the first one.

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Mandel.

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    Oh, I really hated to choose here. Of course, my vote won’t matter, but I still have to give it to the one I think was slightly better.

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    Sorry, gotta go with entertainment value over litahchah this time. 🙂

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Abstain. I haven’t read the Walton, though I’d probably vote for it if I had.

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Abstain. Haven’t read the VanderMeer.

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    Abstain.

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh

    Not enthused about this pick, but everything I’ve read on the list beats Passage.

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Abstain. Haven’t read the McDonald.

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    See, I don’t actually *hate* litahchah! 🙂

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Abstain.

  37. I suspect that The Muppet Show was as good as it was in part because variety was a declining format: I don’t think they’d have gotten so many good guest stars if they hadn’t been the only variety program on nighttime network television.

    In 5698, all our news is presented by genial talking frogs, out of a faint hope that this will calm the audience.

  38. Last round close to halved the books I could vote on (plus I’m abstaining from a couple of rounds for reasons). Apparently my sf tastes are not quite as similar to the commentariat at large as my fantasy tastes!

    21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART TWO:
    ALL THESE BOOKS ARE YOURS — EXCEPT EUROPA EUROPA

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir

    (Here in 7241, I still haven’t finished Anathem.)

  39. And, time for another bracket:

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    I think I would enjoy rereading Spin more, but Farthing is the better book.

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    (I seem to have jumped another couple of thousand years forward between my previous comment and this one. Where did the frogs go?)

  40. Yep, there’s that moment where you realize that you would rather be damned, and the whole world with you, than worship the abusive Sky Daddy even one more minute. It’s a weirdly lonely and triumphal moment.

    As Huck Finn put it, “All right then, I’ll go to hell!”

  41. I’m going to restrict myself to pairs I’ve read both of, even though a number of my favorites aren’t in those pairs.

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge
    Feed, Mira Grant

    I found the Vinge disappointing. (I also found the two sequels to Feed disappointing, but the first one’s great, and should have won the 2011 Hugo.)

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Kiln People, David Brin

    Kiln People left no impression on me at all. Brin’s written some excellent stories, but this isn’t one of them IMO.

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    I’m a big fan of Walton, but Wilson hits my sensawunda hard every time.

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    Kirstein all the way.

    Crossing my fingers that Anathem and Passage make it to brackets I can vote in – and not against each other!

  42. 4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

  43. My ability to participate has increased, but not by that much.

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    (But this was a closer call than it would have been with many other Bujolds.)

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

  44. 1. LASTING DAMAGE, NOSTALGIA FOR INFINITY
    Look to Windward, Iain M. Banks
    Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds

    2. THE SPEED OF SOFTWARE
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang
    The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon
    pass

    3. BLOGGERS AND TECHNOPHOBES
    Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge
    Feed, Mira Grant

    4. THE FUTURE HANGS ON A SLENDER THREAD
    Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ONE PERSON MANY BODIES
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Kiln People, David Brin

    6. GIRL AND BOY
    Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    7. HURT IN THE DARK
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata

    8. SERIOUS ILLNESS
    Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    9. QUADDIES AND SPACE BATS
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

    10. MOST OF HUMANITY GETS WIPED OUT
    Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
    Accelerando, Charles Stross

    11. LOOK BACK, LOOK AHEAD
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Spin, Robert Charles Wilson

    12. IT’S HARD TO TALK TO IT
    Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
    Blindsight, Peter Watts
    Pass

    13. I JUST WANT TO GET HOME
    The Martian, Andy Weir
    Ragamuffin, Tobias Buckell

    14. DEATH IS NOT THE END
    Love Minus Eighty, Will McIntosh
    Passage, Connie Willis
    Pass

    15. KIND OF A LOT GOING ON
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    River of Gods, Ian McDonald
    Pass

    16. MYSTERY STORIES
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon

    17. TIME AND SPACE
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
    Pass

  45. I’m back from a long, unplugged weekend in the wilds of Algonquin Park (well, a lodge in Algonquin). What happened in the finale of the fantasy bracket?

    I managed to read one SFF book there, The empress game. I wanted a fun space opera, but it just did not work for me. The author crammed in too much – vast interstellar empire, advanced technology (which magically did what the author needed it to), also people with psi powers, AIs with psi powers, PLUS scantily clad women fighting in the ring… The whole setup (big picture and smaller stuff) seemed artificial and contrived and illogical. And if the heroine was referred to one more time as a “pit whore” I was ready to toss my Kindle (of course, she’s not your regular pit whore, she’s a princess … gah).

    Current, very different reading: Europe in Autumn. So far, kind of a slow start, but it’s pulling me in.

  46. 3. Rainbow’s End, Vernor Vinge

    Normally I’ll only vote if I’ve read both, but in this case I’ll make an exception because Feed, though readable enough, is an extremely silly book imo, and I’ve liked the other Vinge novels I’ve read very much.

    11. Spin, Robert Wison

    also liked Farthing

    12. Annihilation, Jeff Vandermeer

    the Watts is also a weird and powerful book but I think the Vandermeer is better.

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