Pixel Scroll 9/30 Bite Cycles

(1) Product placement. Would you like to guess what product is featured in The Martian?

Aston Martin, Omega, and Burberry will be among the brands proud to be associated with Spectre, the latest James Bond movie when it opens next month. But with product placement and promotional tie-ins now generating big bucks for movie-makers, brands eager to share a piece of the big-screen action now extend well beyond the usual suspects.

For proof, look no further than The Martian, the new sci-fi action adventure starring Matt Damon, which opens in the UK later this week complete with… an official potato. Though even this is not the most surprising in a recent series of increasingly bizarre promotional couplings.

…The end result is a promotional campaign for which the film studio used its connections with NASA to provide Albert Bartlett customers with an all-expenses-paid family trip to the Kennedy Space Center as a competition prize in a Martian-themed promotional campaign.

“They wanted exposure. They also knew that, while the film will have big appeal with single blokes, they needed a way to open it up to a wider, family audience,” Marcantonio explains. “Which means it makes sense at a number of different levels. Unlike when soft drinks companies tie up with just about any family movie they can find to reach kids, this tie-up is anything but spurious.”

Indeed. And for a more mundane reason, too. Because like the planet Mars, Albert Bartlett’s best-selling potato – the Rooster – is … red.

(2) Not all of the marketing has been a success.

Remember what I said the other day about not betting against David Gerrold when science fiction cinema is on the line?

His new Facebook post concerns The Martian.

So, here’s my review of The Martian…which I was supposed to see tonight.

The studio’s public relations department is run by idiots.

If you arrange a screening, and if you make passes available to hundreds of fans — warning them ahead of time that you have overbooked and nobody is guaranteed a seat is not an excuse. It’s a cop-out.

You don’t turn away a hundred or more people at the door and shrug it off and say, “Sorry.”

What you do is you say, “Let’s make it up to these people who came all this way and waited all this time.” You go to the management of the theater and say, “We want to schedule a second screening after the first one concludes so that no one goes home disappointed.” That not only gives you good PR with the audience but it helps generate good word-of-mouth three days before the film opens.

The movie might be good. I expect it will be. But the PR people just pissed off at least a hundred fans who waited two hours or longer in line. Not good. Just not good.

(3) Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson, who did get into a screening, wrote this review:

Having already read and enjoyed Weir’s excellent adventure, I was pleasantly surprised with the effective presentation of the novel on screen. Seeing beautiful Martian vistas, punctuated by mountainous terrain in variegated hues of orange, made it seem as if humans were already living there. The use of high-altitude and digitally accurate perspectives of the Martian surface pulled at my heart strings. And I loved that Andy Weir developed a relationship with NASA after publishing the novel, leading the push to involve the space program directly with Scott. The resulting emphasis on science provides an enjoyable balance between the film’s considerable entertainment value and its educational, inspirational, and technological references.

(4) A New Yorker cartoon contains the greatest proof yet of life on Mars….

(5) However, when Rush Limbaugh claims he’s unconvinced NASA found water on Mars, it’s not comedy, it’s tragedy.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: There’s so much fraud. Snerdly came in today ‘what’s this NASA news, this NASA news is all exciting.’ I said yeah they found flowing water up there. ‘No kidding! Wow! Wow!’ Snerdly said ‘flowing water!?’ I said ‘why does that excite you? What, are you going there next week? What’s the big deal about flowing water on Mars?’ ‘I don’t know man but it’s just it’s just wow!’ I said ‘you know what, when they start selling iPhones on Mars, that’s when it’ll matter to me.’ I said ‘what do you think they’re gonna do with this news?’ I said ‘look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it’s fraudulent for however many years, there isn’t any warming, there hasn’t been for 18.5 years. And yet, they’re lying about it. They’re just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they’re making up the temperatures, they’re lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what’s to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?’ And Snerdly paused ‘oh oh yeah you’re right.’ You know, when I play golf with excellent golfers, I ask them ‘does it ever get boring playing well? Does it ever get boring hitting shot after shot where you want to hit it?’ And they all look at me and smile and say ‘never.’ Well folks, it never gets boring being right either. Like I am. But it doesn’t mean it is any less frustrating.

(6) GeekTyrant says this is the 10-foot inflatable Jabba the Hutt you’re looking for.

ilvr_sw_jabba_the_hut_inflatable

Here’s something that’s sure to piss off your neighbors: a ten-foot long, six-foot tall inflatable Jabba the Hutt, perfect for decorating your front lawn or as the centerpiece for that Star Wars-themed party you might be planning. You can bring it with you to wait in line for The Force Awakens, use it as a Home Alone-style distraction to make potential robbers think a large alien lives in your home…the possibilities are too numerous to entertain in one sitting.

“I say put a Santa hat on him and put him in the front yard,” is John King Tarpinian’s advice.

Or give him his own radio show.

From ThinkGeek for $169.99.

(7) Elizabeth Bear lets readers in on the drafting process…

(8) Rights to Heinlein’s “The Man Who Sold The Moon” have been acquired by Allen Bain’s firm Bainframe. It will be developed for television.

More details on Deadline.com:

Bain (Two Men In Town, Revenge Of The Green Dragons) founded Bainframe to tell stories that have “the power to inspire people to dream of a better tomorrow.” This is the shingle’s second rights buy, following Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn. 

…The Man Who Sold The Moon tells the tale of Delos D. Harriman, a businessman possessed by a dream to take humanity off-Earth. As a young entrepreneur, he starts a private space company to colonize the moon and create the home he never had. He is driven to the brink while single-handedly ushering the entire human race to its next evolutionary step.

“This story is inspiring because the private space race is happening now and will become a reality within a decade. This is not some far flung science fiction yarn. It is something we are going to experience in our lifetime,” says Bain. The timing coincides with yesterday’s announcement by NASA of strong evidence there is flowing water on Mars. “The Man Who Sold the Moon allows us to imagine how the space race will play out, but at its core it’s really a gripping portrait of a complex character with an impossible dream.”

Bain notes that Harriman’s journey is reminiscent of the current crop of space pioneers like Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (SpaceX) who has credited Heinlein as an inspiration.

(9) WisCon posted a report in June about the results of the first con run under its new anti-abuse policy.

This year was the first convention where we had a formal procedure in place for what to do when individuals attending WisCon violate the code of conduct described in our anti-harassment policy. The policy is intended to be flexible to allow for different situations, but its basic idea is that if somebody reports a harassing behavior to Safety, the person responsible can be issued a warning and asked to do something differently (such as staying away from a place or person). If warnings aren’t attended to or harassing behavior escalates, the policy describes a few more options, including –– in the worst case scenario, which we hope to avoid –– that Safety and Chairs in consultation with available Anti-Abuse Team members can make a collective at-con decision to ban someone from WisCon.

Now that the convention is over, Safety has handed off their at-con reports to the full Anti-Abuse Team, which is reviewing reports that are still open post-con and evaluating how well the policy performed on- site. Here’s how things looked in our first year:

  • 11 issues relating to the anti-harassment policy were reported to Safety.
  • 4 attendees were issued warnings for harassing behaviors.
  • 1 disruptive non-member was escorted off the premises by hotel staff.
  • 1 person was banned, after several warnings, in response to reports both from multiple departments and from the hotel –– some relating to patterns of behavior going back several years.

(10) Curbed has a report on a film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High Rise coming to film festivals.

The novel begins with a truly surreal opening line—”later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog”—and the story explores a societal breakdown similar to of-the-moment entertainment franchises such as The Walking Dead. But in J.G. Ballard’s 1975 High-Rise, the subject of a new film adaptation starting to make the festival rounds this month, the enemy isn’t some virus or the undead. The residents of a new London high-rise slowly regress and devolve into tribal infighting not due to some outside force altering their environment, but because of the environment itself. The tower becomes a character in the story, written as a symbol of the meticulous (and ultimately very fragile) class systems built up by society.

(11) Wired has interviewed David J. Peterson about his new book in “How To Invent A Language, From The Guy Who Made Dothraki”.

Some Conlangers Want to Keep Their Hobby Arcane

Peterson recognizes there are “definitely some negative aspects” to the growth in conlang popularity. He cites linguistic pioneer J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord Of The Rings as an example of the community’s instinct toward self-protection. “There were some people who reacted negatively [when LOTR was published] because they knew conlang would start to get more attention, and they didn’t want that,” he says. Until recently, the community has been a supportive niche for people with a very specific interest. But as television shows and films with created languages continue to pop up in more places, it’s no longer as heavily guarded.

His Book Aims to Codify Conlang Knowledge For Posterity

Constructed languages have existed for centuries, but the advent of the internet brought with it the listserv that created a true community of peers. Since then, the community has grown hugely—but as the internet has changed, a new generation of conlangers on various social networks has become more spread out and unaware of each other. “I’ve met dozens of conlangers on Tumblr, all new, all young, who have no idea that each other exist,” he says, “because they’re with the mass kind of shouting into the wind.” None of them know about the old conlang listserv, and now it’s an antiquated form of digital communication, so “they don’t want to bother with that.” Peterson worries about redundancies that would arise from the lack of connection. “They’re inheriting a kingdom they really don’t know the history of, and know nothing about,” he says. They’re reinventing every single wheel we already perfected.” The Art Of Language Invention is a way of bridging the gap between the old and new conlangers by becoming a codex of sorts, preserving knowledge of constructed language much in the same way ancient languages have been preserved throughout history.

[Thanks to Mark sans surname, Andrew Porter, Ansible Links, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

343 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/30 Bite Cycles

  1. Another comic Queen and Country by Greg Rucka. Wonderful spy stories in the vein of The Sandbaggers.

  2. Xtifr on October 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm said: Snip

    100 Bullets started strong but ended a confusing mess.

    And you may be in for a treat Gunnerkrigg Court has graphic novels available. My daughter has been devouring them.

  3. Patrick Ness is going to be writing a YA Doctor Who spin-off series!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/entries/953c5b1f-3cc8-4db9-8184-f1b6567260f1

    BBC Three today announces Class – a new 8 x 45 minute Doctor Who spin off from the acclaimed YA author, Patrick Ness. Class is a YA series set in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Hunger Games), this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you’ve never seen them before.

    Steven Moffat says, “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we’re bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!”

  4. Mike, can I swipe that line about I’m right here, I could save god a trip? It’s great.

  5. Lenora Rose – Good call in Fullmetal Alchemist. My prior manga recs focused on shoujo stuff, which I think k usually gets overlooked.

    Jim Henley – Thank you for opening up your personal history to try to make the point; I think you made it eloquently, even if the target chose not to hear. And now I can solidly identify why I felt so condescended-to…

    RedWombat – That was marvelous. I loved the trollnames, especially.

  6. Kurt beat me to mentioning the reprinting of On Stage: (and then described and raved about it better than I ever could to boot). On the other hand, while reading v14, I started thinking about maybe going through all the volumes to figure out just how many of Mary’s acting jobs actually resulted in play performances, broadcast television, or movies that made it to the theater. Because particularly in v14, it seemed that an awful lot of her jobs ended up with nothing actually shown to the public due to all the plot happening behind the scenes leading to shut down productions and the like.

    Yeah, Mary’s in a lot of projects that don’t go anywhere, but I expect a lot of actors can say the same — we do kind of have to assume that there’s a lot of time we don’t see because eventful character drama doesn’t erupt during those jobs (or downtime).

    Still, in v14, there was a story where Mary filmed a TV pilot, and Starr had to make a point that she didn’t usually do them because she didn’t want to be tied down to a series, and if the pilot got bought they’d recast the role. Starr simply wanted Mary to keep moving, from stage to screen to location to talk show, to keep the settings. And it’d be hard to explain in the space of a comic strip that even pilots have non-series roles in them.

    But I like how he kept Mary as a working actress – not a major star, but regularly working, so he didn’t have to make the trappings of financial success an ongoing thing. Fine for other characters, but Mary needed to keep relatable to the audience.

    I suppose you could do a strip like that about someone who had a regular gig, and the new characters who came in and out would be guest stars and the like. But this let Mary do just about anything, and Pete’s photojournalism job gave the strip even greater latitude.

  7. As for the blowhard uncle – he’s a person too. He has probably done his bit in supporting families and institutions doing things that probably aren’t much fun. He has loved wife and children and has sacrificed for them, or very likely has served in the military and risked his life. You reject him because of some trivial point of social signalling? Maybe it would be productive all around if you made an effort to understand his world view.

    He’s a drug addled idiot who flunked out of college. There is literally not a single positive thing I can think of to say about that cretin.

    PS: Yeah, no, this guy has never gotten anywhere near actually serving in the military. He’s an Original Keyboard Kommando.

  8. Next round of the bracket coming up shortly. You can vote for a work, a tie, abstain, or vote for something not on the bracket published between 2000 and 2014. Three-way contests should be ranked IRV style.

  9. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Accelerando, Charles Stross
    Lock In, John Scalzi

  10. Forehead Cloths! Getcher ante-penultimate Bracket Forehead Cloths now! Unscented or with soothing lavender! Aloe or plain! All guaranteed transfat free! With every dozen forehead cloths, we’ll throw in, ABSOLUTELY FREE, one embroidered souvenir forehead cloth depicting a Sledgehammer Crushing Kyra’s Dice! Act Now! Operators are Standing By!!!1!

  11. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    1 Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    3 Accelerando, Charles Stross
    2 Lock In, John Scalzi

  12. Round Four Statistics

    Not as much change from last round as might be expected. The percentage of women edges down slightly, but stays in the same ballpark, as does the percentage of U.S. authors. All remaining “fantasy tropes” are resolutely holding on, but that is extremely likely to finally change next round, unless there is a tie in bracket pairing 4.

    Women: 41.7% (5/12)
    Men: 58.3% (7/12)

    U.S.: 66.7% (8/12)
    UK: 25% (3/12)
    UK/Canadian: 8.3% (1/12)

    Zombies: 9.1% (1/11)
    Vampires: 9.1% (1/11)
    Demons: 9.1% (1/11)
    Tavern in the Snow: 9.1% (1/11)

  13. 1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    Tie

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

  14. You are here because you are a troll.

    I’m reminded of Clyde Bruckman’s dialogue with the serial killer who wants to know why he does the things he does in “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” here.

  15. I can finally vote! I think I’ve read about a third of the books in the bracket, but I’ve got roughly the same amount lying around still to be read and Evil Bracket Lady hasn’t been putting the books I’ve read against each other. I know she’ll just blame it on her dice, but I know nothing happens that she doesn’t want to happen.

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    This was easy. While I liked the Mieville book in a lot of ways, the human characters were secondary and I frankly barely remember them. I thought all of the Bas-Lag books and The City & the City were better novels. Also The Kraken, although that suffered from the protaganist’s passivity through the first third or half of the book.

    In contrast, I thought the Ancillary novels were some of the better that I’ve read in the last ten years.

  16. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    and my customary protest vote for Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord.

  17. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    I stand by my choices, but clearly need to read more 21st Century SF.

  18. I think I can manage this round without any forehead cloths. On the other hand, there are other stresses in my life: Cally, how about a dozen, six unscented and six lavender, since I’m back in 2015 and can take delivery?

    21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    Embassytown is more about the linguistics, but I just like Ancillary Justice better.

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    (abstain)

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    1. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Accelerando, Charles Stross
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    (no preference between the Stross and the Scalzi)

  19. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    abstain. But I really want to read the Kirstein!

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    2. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Accelerando, Charles Stross
    1. Lock In, John Scalzi

  20. 1. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    I’d ask for a head cloth just because of my fondness for Embassytown. Let’s be honest though, Ancillary Justice is going to take the big prize and deservedly so. I don’t see anything on the list I’d place over it.

    2. Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    3. Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. abstain

    5.

    1 Lock In, John Scalzi
    2 Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    3 Accelerando, Charles Stross

  21. 1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    1. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    3. Accelerando, Charles Stross
    2. Lock In, John Scalzi

  22. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    Oh god. Probably the two best books left, and you put them head to head. Of course you did. Much as I liked AJ, I think this is the better book.

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Corey. (And I’m mad at the other one for beating the best book in the entire bracket.)

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Abstain. Haven’t read the Walton. And I liked Anathem a lot, but not enough to vote blindly against a Walton.

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    Abstain. Strongly tempted to just vote for the Butler blind, but fair’s fair.

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    2 (tie). Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    2 (tie). Accelerando, Charles Stross
    1. Lock In, John Scalzi

    I really like all three books. *sigh*

  23. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    1 – Lock In, John Scalzi
    2 – Accelerando, Charles Stross
    3 – Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    WTF??? I’ll have a gross of those forehead cloths, Cally.

    I’m still feeling quite fervently that Michael F. Flynn’s Eifelheim should be on this list.

  24. > “Let’s be honest though, Ancillary Justice is going to take the big prize and deservedly so.”

    This is certainly the first time a single work has been so dominant in a bracket. Frankly, it’s been looking the way I thought it might if I didn’t give Tolkien a pass-until-the-final-round in the fantasy brackets.

    I wouldn’t say that means it’s guaranteed to win — there were three works that ended up coming within one, two, or three votes of the Tolkien in the end — but I wouldn’t exactly suggest betting your house against it.

  25. BRACKETS! I’m in time (and in 2015)

    1. Ancillary Justice
    2. Leviathan Wakes
    3. Anathem
    4. abstain

    applies an entire case of forehead cloths, swears mightily

    4. Diplomatic Immunity, Lock In, Accelerando

  26. 1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    1 Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    2 Accelerando, Charles Stross
    3 Lock In, John Scalzi

  27. I’m going to be at a con this weekend, and so will miss the thrilling bracket finale. If I knew how the next brackets were going to be grouped, I’d pre-vote.

  28. “Let’s be honest though, Ancillary Justice is going to take the big prize and deservedly so.”

    This is certainly the first time a single work has been so dominant in a bracket. Frankly, it’s been looking the way I thought it might if I didn’t give Tolkien a pass-until-the-final-round in the fantasy brackets.

    Considering that THE GOBLIN EMPEROR won the fantasy bracket, I’ve been sort of expecting Leckie to win this one, on the ground that recent well-loved work has an advantage when the timeframe goes up to the present. 20 years from now, a bracket for the same era might come out different, but right now the last couple years have a “freshness advantage,” or something like that.

    Or maybe not.

  29. There’s going to be a dice-smashing party at my place after the Final Round. Who’s volunteering to go over to Kyra’s place and make off with the evil dice?

  30. Michael Eochaidh on October 1, 2015 at 7:11 pm said:

    While I liked the Mieville book in a lot of ways, the human characters were secondary and I frankly barely remember them.

    Huh, I kind of felt that way about both of them. I didn’t feel strong connections to much of anyone in either book. The protagonist of Ancillary Justice was sympathetic, but still too alien for me to really identify with. Of course, I haven’t read Ancillary Sword yet, and that might change my feelings. But that way, I can judge AJ on its own. And I think the two books (Etown and AJ) are similarly flawed that way. And both still fabulous books.

    (Not as big a fan as you of the Bas-Lag books, but The City and the City and Kraken are outstanding too, and I can’t fault anyone who prefers them to Embassytown, even if I don’t agree. Kraken, in particular, doesn’t seem to get anywhere near the amount of props it deserves.)

  31. So yesterday I finished “The Red”, and today I got “Trials” out of the library … and finished it.

    First of all, my eyesight is now quite blurry — I’m not used to reading that many pages of hard-copy any more. I only pressed the right margin of a page a few times, trying to get it to turn …

    Anyway, Nagata’s novels make an interesting counterpoint to Mike Lofgren’s essay on The Deep State, which I happened to read about a week ago. Nagata’s books also point up that there is (or should be) no such thing as MilSF that is “pure story”: it always needs to be about “what are we fighting for?” at least as much as about *how* we’re fighting. Have any of the Puppies reviewed it?

    I expect The Red series to be optioned for TV any minute now — it could be *really* good.

  32. > “I know nothing happens that she doesn’t want to happen.”

    I’ll try to recite this to myself the next time I am trying to think of a bracket pairing title that somehow bears relevance to both a far-future dystopian cybered cast-of-thousands MilSF epic and an alt-history character-driven drawing room mystery chamber piece.

  33. CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO
    As usual voting where I’ve read only one book. More & more books ending up on my TBR. Amazon is very happy with Filers…

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey bought & on TBR
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein This series blew me away

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson bought & on TBR
    Farthing, Jo Walton really enjoyed and am not expecting much from Anathem based on my taste & what people have said

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler – my 1st Butler – tough read but blew me away

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold – I just like every LMB

  34. Only one pairing where I’ve read both works, and it’s a lulu…

    21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    The City & The City, China Miéville

    I loved the setting and the aliens in Embassytown so much, but thought it fell apart in the final quarter or so. I loved the setting and Breq *snuggles Breq* so much, but I only settled into the rhythm of the book after the first third or so. So instead I choose The City & The City, which grabbed me right away and kept me rapt until the end.

  35. In sad SF news, the Nicholas Brendon Travelling Shitshow has hit Saratoga Springs. He’s been arrested for choking his girlfriend.

    I have had sympathy for the man and his stuggles with substance abuse and anger management. But this downward spiral is looking likelier and likelier to end with somebody dead.

    Rewatching Buffy is going to be harder, though I realized last time through that Xander was kind of an asshole…

  36. “… right now the last couple years have a ‘freshness advantage,’ or something like that. Or maybe not.”

    I’ve definitely wondered about that myself, but one possible argument against it is that I don’t think I’ve seen a “grouping” towards very recent works. The Final Five in the 21st century fantasy bracket were from 2002, 2003, 2003, 2004, and 2014. The 2014 work won, but the clustering was actually towards the beginning of the millennium.

    In this one, we’ve currently got works from 2002, 2003, 2005, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2014. There’s definitely a few very recent works in there, but I’m not at all sure it’s enough to establish a pattern.

    So yeah, in both cases a single very recent work is standing out from the pack, but I don’t think there’s a general trend towards recent works. I might buy that when it comes down to it, the single most mind-blowing thing someone has read in recent years has an advantage, maybe?

  37. “Daisy, Daisy, lend me your novel, do
    I’m half crazy just to be reading you
    It won’t be a stylish bookcase
    I can’t afford a Nook case
    But you’ll look sweet
    Upon the seat
    Of a bookmobile built for two!”

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS

    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE

    Fledgling, Octavia E.Butler

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY

    1. Lock In, John Scalzi

    (If one or more of these three go up against each other, as I imagine they might next time around, THEN I shall start tearing my hair.)

  38. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FOUR:
    DAISY, DAISY, LEND ME YOUR NOVEL, DO
    Iron Dice in the Velvet Hand Time

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville
    Nope
    Can’t

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    because Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton
    Nope

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    Nope

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    2 Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    3 Accelerando, Charles Stross
    1 Lock In, John Scalzi

    Going to lay in a supply of those face cloths for next time.
    Maybe better make it a gross since there seem to be comic brackets looming.

  39. For Ancillary Justice and Goblin Emperor I think a lot of it is just that people here are really, really likely to have read them in order to vote on the 2015 Hugo’s (AJ in order to read AS). Can’t vote on what you haven’t read!

  40. Doctor Science: Have any of the Puppies reviewed it?

    Nah, it was written by a woman, how could it be any good?

     
    Doctor Science: I expect The Red series to be optioned for TV any minute now — it could be *really* good.

    I know! There’s a reason why a mainstream publisher stepped in and snapped up the series after Nagata originally self-published the first one. These novels are very, very good — smart, complex plotting and well-developed characters.

  41. Oooh nasty choices Kyra!

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Accelerando, Charles Stross
    Lock In, John Scalzi

  42. > “Can’t vote on what you haven’t read!”

    Interestingly, by the later 21st century fantasy brackets, most of the remaining works appeared to have been pretty widely read. That may still end up being the case here (we haven’t hit the last couple of brackets yet, obviously), but I’ve been getting the feeling that more people have read a smaller percentage of the works on offer in the 21s sf bracket, although which percentage they have read varies widely.

    That’s just a gut feeling more than something with a firmer basis, but if so it might be one of the reasons AJ has been getting a boost here.

  43. On the other hand, I should note, I think there’s a definite argument to be made that AJ is simply a super-awesome book and there really isn’t more to it than that.

  44. After finishing Ancillary Justice my first comment was, that was the best scifi I’ve read in at least ten years.

    So that’s where I stand.

  45. I knew this was going to be tough but… consider that I’ve whined, bitched, moaned and complained for every single bracket….

    1. DISTINCTIVE LINGUISTICS
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Embassytown, China Miéville

    Leckie

    2. SEARCHING FOR THE RUNAWAY
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    Kirstein

    3. NOT OUR WORLD — OR IS IT?
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    Farthing, Jo Walton

    Stephenson

    4. ZOMBIE VS. VAMPIRE
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    Carey

    5. ANOTHER TRICKY TRICHOTOMY
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    Accelerando, Charles Stross
    Lock In, John Scalzi

    1) Bujold
    2) Stross
    3) Scalzi

Comments are closed.