Pixel Scroll 10/1 The Other Blog of Phileas Fogg

(1) Sir Terry Pratchett’s estate has announced the endowment of the Sir Terry Pratchett Memorial Scholarship at the University of South Australia.

The $100,000 scholarship recipient will also have the opportunity to conduct their research both at University of South Australia. and at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland for up to a full year in the course of their two-year’s study.

The collaborative scholarship builds on a growing relationship between two very different universities in two hemispheres, who share links both through research and their strong associations with Sir Terry Pratchett and is underpinned by an MOU between Trinity College Dublin’s Trinity Long Room Hub and University of South Australia’s Hawke Research Institute.

Pratchett was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of South Australia in 2014.

(2) Pat Cadigan celebrates the return of her hair in “And Then, Suddenly: The Silver Fox! Or OMG! I Have Hair!” Complete with photo gallery.

About a month and a half after my last round of chemo, my hair began to grow back. Not slowly, but at a natural rate, as if I had deliberately shaved it off. By August, when I was preparing to go to the world science fiction convention in Spokane, Washington, I had what could have been a pixie-cut that was just slightly too short. Ellen Datlow told me she thought it looked cute and I could probably get away without any head-coverings. I will always love her for that, truly.

There’s nothing more reassuring to someone recovering from chemo than to be told she looks cute with her short hair. I mean, really. It goes a long way toward recovery–not just a physical recovery but the psychological recovering of yourself from cancer patient to Who You Are. (Yeah, you may be both but it’s important to be Who You Are first, cancer patient second.)

Still, I left the head scarves on. I wasn’t quite ready to expose my itty-bitty head with its itty-bitty hair.

A month later, however, my hair was an inch longer and it was a different story.

(3) Larry Correia came back with great stories from Salt Lake Comic Con.

I had a Green Beret’s wife come by to pick up signed copies of everything. Her husband is a huge fan, and was currently deployed to an undisclosed location doing badass stuff to bad people. He recorded a video for her to play for me, and gave me a unit hat. That was neat, but even cooler, while I was signing her stack of books, somebody else standing in line had heard her story, and paid for all of her books while she wasn’t looking. Just to say thanks for her husband’s service, and then he walked away, anonymous. I didn’t even know until I got done signing, and Steve Diamond leaned over and said, yep, these are all already taken care of. She teared up. Because fans are awesome people like that.

No matter how busy I was, if I am ever in danger of pride, all I had to do was look at Butcher or Brooks’ signing lines, that literally stretched across ten aisles, to be put in my place. Holy crap. I’m a pretty successful author, but Jim does what I do, with another zero on the end of everything.

Speaking of Jim, several of us writers put together a game night. We played Fiasco, which is a perfect, silly, stand-alone RPG for one-off events. Think of it like a Cohen brothers movie, where everything is odd and goes sideways. Ours was like the movie Fargo. Poor Jim ended up as the only decent human being in the cast (a Mexican Catholic priest and champion of SOCIAL JUSTICE I kid you not, thank you so much Fiasco’s random complication tables). But don’t worry, after Jim was horribly injured when Steve and Allen blew up the meth supplies hidden in the basement of his church, Peter and I burned down the local Walmart to avenge him. Yes. It was that sort of game.

(4) Everything Wrong With Interstellar, Featuring Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson —

(5) RedWombat’s verse, which some have dubbed The Jellicle Troll, started life as a comment on File 770.

The Naming of Trolls is a difficult matter,

It isn’t just some sort of blog-a-day game;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a troll may have MORE THAN ONE NAME.
First of all, there’s the name that employers use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them everyday real wallet names.
But I tell you, a troll needs a name that’s not famous,
A handle peculiar, but easily shed,
Else how can he keep his trolling anonymous,
Or threaten his critics or wish them all dead?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a couple, too,
Such as Drizzt69, Quaxo, or Nazi-lol,
Such as Edgelord150, or HatesSJW-
Names that sometimes belong to more than one troll.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweet,
And IP muddlers and sock-puppets galore:
That the troll may continue to whargle and bleat–
Without any pause in his trollicksome chore.
But above and beyond there’s still one thing left over,
And that is the thing that you probably have guessed;
The thing human research has long since discovered–
(IF THE TROLL HIMSELF KNOWS, he will never confess.)
When you notice a troll in profound verbiation,
I’ll tell you his reason for courting suspension:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of attention:
Paid to his tedious
Shallow uninteresting
singular Self.

(6) Lo and behold! David J. Peterson’s book about conlangery, mentioned here yesterday, is today’s Big Idea at Whatever.

With The Art of Language Invention, my purpose was twofold. The first was to give the uninitiated a window into the world of conlanging: to see what it’s all about, to see the work that goes into creating a language, and, maybe, to see if it’s for them. The second, though, was to build a bridge between the original conlanging community and the conlangers to come.

(7) The minutes of the 2015 WSFS Business Meeting [PDF file], a 134-page epic by secretary Linda Deneroff, has been posted on the Sasquan website.

(8) Kate Paulk has a goal.

Inept message fiction makes puppies sad. Sad Puppies 4 wants to make puppies happy by returning the Hugo to its roots as a readers choice award – all readers, not just the small cadre who favor style over substance. Those who wouldn’t know substance if it bit them on the butt are of course in opposition to this goal.

(9) GUFF voting is closed. Now the administrators say they are doing a vote count before announcing a winner. Who should be Jukka Halme, as he is running unopposed.

(10) The story of “The Little Blue Man Hoax” at The Museum of Hoaxes.

The police began to search for what, or who, was causing these sightings. Their search ended when three young men — Jerry Sprague, Don Weiss, and LeRoy Schultz — came forward and confessed. The young men explained how all the reports of flying saucers in the news had given them an idea for a prank. They created a costume consisting of long underwear, gloves, combat boots, a sheet with holes cut out for the eyes, and a football helmet to which they attached blinking lights. They then spray-painted the costume glow-in-the-dark blue (inspired by a song popular on the radio at the time, “Little Blue Man” by Betty Johnson). Sprague wore the costume, noting that “it was my underwear and I was the only one it would fit.”

The trio staked out rural roads at night. Sprague would hide in a ditch, and when a motorist approached, he would leap out and run along the road to attract their attention before making a quick getaway by jumping into the trunk of the car driven by Weiss and Schultz. They did this on at least eight or ten nights, over a period of weeks.

The police let the pranksters off with a warning not to do it again.

(11) John Simm told the Guardian he can’t wait to move on from Doctor Who.

The actor John Simm has admitted that he is fed up with the attention he gets from Doctor Who fans.

The star of The Village and Life On Mars played the Master in five episodes of the BBC1 sci-fi programme.

He told the Radio Times: “I do get a lot of Doctor Who. God almighty, I’ll be so happy when that’s gone from my life. They’re lovely, I’m sure, but I won’t miss it.”

He added: “It’s great to be into something, but for goodness’ sake, really? I’m not the Master, I’m not that evil Time Lord who rules the galaxy, I’m just in Tesco with my kids. Leave me alone!”

(12) The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book (A Song of Ice and Fire)

In a world where weddings are red, fire is green, and debts are paid in gold, countless images leap off the page thanks to the eye-popping intricacy of the vivid settings and details. Now, for the first time, fans of this blockbuster saga can fill in the blanks and marvel as this meticulously imagined universe comes to life, one sword, sigil, and castle at a time. With dozens of stunning original black-and-white illustrations from world-renowned illustrators Yvonne Gilbert, John Howe, Tomislav Tomi?, Adam Stower, and Levi Pinfold, this unique collector’s item expands the reach of an international phenomenon with flying colors.

 

Official game of thrones coloring book cover COMP

(13) I scientifically lifted this news from the October issue of Ansible.

With an eye on the coming film, the Royal Mail will issue no fewer than eighteen Star Wars stamps on 20 October. (BBC, 12 September)

(14) Camestros Felapton has weaponized one of File 770’s running gags…

[Thanks to JJ, Kevin Standlee, David Doering, Camestros Felapton, John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Brian Z .]

375 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/1 The Other Blog of Phileas Fogg

  1. @Mike:

    NickPheas: MOU is Memorandum of Understaning.

    Yup, the d is silent 😛 😀

    As to the gun debate thingy… look, I’ll just say this. Irish law is a lot simpler because we don’t have 50 states and the mix of federal, state and local laws, and our law only kicks off in 1922 or so (earlier UK law can be cited sometimes but it’s not part of the same canon). And even so… well, listen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrWq1mvxxDk

    Truth is, you want to have a talk about this stuff and you should, but it’s got to be a damn sight more subtle and informed than “four legs good, two legs bad” which is the current state of the shouting match the US has in place of a debate on this. Even the US scientific studies of this are dodgy (and that’s according to the national academy of sciences, not me). I dunno if the US is up to that. I mean, you went to the moon, so you have the capability, but from the outside, we just don’t see anyone who actually wants it.

  2. I mean, you went to the moon, so you have the capability

    No, that was the Germans. We just went along for the ride.

    ETA: XKCD code 984

  3. I live in the largest city in Canada. I’ve walked or taken transit late at night hundreds of times. Never, at any point I can remember, did ‘I wish I had a gun right now’ cross my mind.

    Consider yourself fortunate.

    I live in one of the larger metro areas in the US. We have drug and gang issues nearby our neighborhood. Used to be in our neighborhood, but a core group of citizens and the police slowly got the dealers and users off this and surrounding blocks. There’s still two empty lots that had housed meth labs in houses that have burned down. The area is slowly changing for the better, but we still have slum lords that rent to illegals. Once the housing boom reaches this far, that will change.

  4. following @junego @2:41 pm

    Don’t know how old you are but I saw 2001 when it was first released

    Heh. The saying goes, “The golden age of science fiction is 12,” and my parents took me to see 2001 for my 12th birthday, at the Uptown Theater in Washington DC, the old Cinerama theater where it had premiered. I’d already read the novel version. For years, my parents would ask me to explain the story to them. 🙂

    I’ve seen 2001 perhaps 30 times since then — I stopped counting around the 24th time. Nearly always in theaters, only a couple of times on home video. I feel like I know every cut in the movie.

    About a decade back, I brought a video-oriented SF fan friend to see a 70mm screening of 2001, and he was floored by how much better the movie was as a big-screen experience.

    The movie version of “2010” broke my heart.

  5. @brightglance

    Paulk has talked about AJ at least twice that I know of, and the other time she didn’t say what fantasy markers she meant. You were probably thinking of that. 🙂

    Either way I’m not sure it reflects well on her that she’d get so confused by the first few paragraphs of the book. It isn’t very subtle about being science fiction, what with the spaceship on the cover and mentioning Celsius in the second sentence and talking about planets in the second paragraph! As I was saying before: Simple rules for simple books for people with simple needs, and obviously anything else is either grey goo (Puppy definition) or a special exception.

    The list of special exceptions keeps getting longer, of course, since a great deal of classic science fiction and fantasy doesn’t aim for simple.

  6. @David Goldfarb:

    In addition to that, it’s clunky, sends confusing as hell signals (snow plus tavern then suddenly science fictiony trappings then we’re back to all the fantasy ‘medieval tavern’ signals. Screw that).

    But…wha……….huh?

    I was unaware that snow and taverns only existed in Fantasyland. Or is it just taverns in the snow that only exist in Fantasyland? Whatever, I’m in Canada; I’d best inform the owners of my local pub that they may be attacked by orcs at any time.

  7. I saw 2001 with my dad when it first came out. He was a merchant marine navigator for most of my childhood, and he died when I was sixteen, so going to a major movie with him was uncommon–and that was one I couldn’t easily have gotten my mother to. My dad was the other science fiction fan in the family. I was eleven, and it was one of our Just Us outings.

    Nothing can spoil that memory. 🙂

    (Yeah, I’m not exactly objective about it. :D)

  8. Dawn Incognito on October 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm said:

    @David Goldfarb:

    In addition to that, it’s clunky, sends confusing as hell signals (snow plus tavern then suddenly science fictiony trappings then we’re back to all the fantasy ‘medieval tavern’ signals. Screw that).

    But…wha……….huh?

    I was unaware that snow and taverns only existed in Fantasyland. Or is it only taverns in the snow that only exist in Fantasyland? Whatever, I’m in Canada; I’d best inform the owners of my local pub that they may be attacked by orcs at any time

    Canada = Fantasy
    Australia = Science Fiction
    New Zealand = Fantasy
    Britain = Steampunk-Fantasy
    Japan = Science Fiction – despite some excellent ski resorts
    Metric = Science Fiction
    Imperial/customary units = Fantasy
    🙂

  9. Butbut Camestros, Canada has snow and uses the Metric system!

    You got science fiction in my fantasy!
    You got fantasy in my science fiction!

    Time for elves and wizards flying starships, sez I 🙂

  10. I also saw 2001 when it was first released. I thought it was a large waste of spectacular special effects (but it did improve if you watched it a little high).

  11. Kevin Standlee: I hope we’re not investing all this time and effort to save the Hugos only to see it wasted by foolish nominations for business meeting minutes and videos.

    But I found the business meeting fascinating. Of course I haven’t read the 132 page transcript yet and due to hearing problems I don’t do YouTube… So I only have the live blogging of the meeting to go by and yeah there is probably better related works & dramatic stuff around.

  12. The presupposition of the Paulk argument, that is the separation between ‘style’ and ‘substance’ is already debunked by Delany’s critique of the ‘content’ and ‘style’ distinction in his essay, “About 5,750 Words”, written in 1968. In both cases ‘substance’ and “information’ is produced by stylistic choices on the part of the author. Paulk is, in effect, advocating for a particular style of writing, without recognizing that she is advocating for a particular style. I’m fine with that, but it doesn’t seem to be translating into particularly interesting writing on the part of its advocates.

    @Chris Nelson. Got to say, I pretty much dismiss anything said, out of hand, by someone who uses the term ‘illegals’.

  13. @Anna Feruglio Del Dan
    So I distrust and dislike somebody who either is in the military or writes about it and thinks it’s so fucking cool and badass. It’s not. It’s a necessary but dangerous and unpleasant business, both for the guys in uniform and for everybody else. Losing sight of the complexity of it all is dangerous and morally inexcusable. We have made great strides as a species since it was ok to march proudly to kill Jerry, we learned that at great cost, and I hope we don’t have to learn it all over again.

    I will stand up and applaud this. We USians forget this far too easily, sometimes.

  14. Canada = Fantasy
    Australia = Science Fiction
    New Zealand = Fantasy
    Britain = Steampunk-Fantasy
    Japan = Science Fiction – despite some excellent ski resorts
    Metric = Science Fiction
    Imperial/customary units = Fantasy

    United States = Reality*

    *Mens adventure/war

  15. Okay, so if Metric is science fiction, what is Stars? I think “The First Five Times” has a little bit of a Delany feel to it, but he did also write the Neveryon stories. “In Our Bedroom After the War” is maybe edging toward dieselpunk?

  16. I live in one of the larger metro areas in the US. We have drug and gang issuescrappy education and social support system nearby our neighborhood. Used to be in our neighborhood, but a core group of citizens and the police slowly got the dealers and users poor people off this and surrounding blocks. There’s still two empty lots that had housed meth labs in houses that have burned down. The area is slowly changing for the better, but we still have slum lords evil landlords that rent to illegalsminorities. Once the housing boom reaches this far, Once the poor are forced out, that will change.

    FTFY

  17. @Camestros Which of course is even further complicated by the changing nature of Breq herself over time.

    It’s funny–I’ve been rereading 1984 after the discussion with Brian, and I came across this line:

    “Things will happen to you from which you could not recover, if you lived a thousand years.”

    It made me think of Breq.

  18. @ Robert

    Chris Nelson. Got to say, I pretty much dismiss anything said, out of hand, by someone who uses the term ‘illegals’.

    What’s your preference? Undocumented residents? Economic refugees? Under Appreciated Ambassadors of Culture? They are aren’t bad people, but technically all but 4 in the house are not legal residents.

    Would you like pictures of the 900 square foot house where 6 adults and 5 children live? Would you like to help with our neighborhood Christmas drive for the kids? Or the legal drive to make their landlord repair the house? Or the articles from the local media discussing the situation?

    Maybe I just live in a slightly different reality from most of the posters, but it’s real if you want a tour…

  19. One thing about Pratchett is that he wasn’t afraid to grow as a writer. Some writers seem to find a formula and stick to it like crazy glue. Pratchett gave himself a wide open sandbox, and set out to explore all the different things he could build there. Which left him room to improve. Which he did.

    My mom was not a Pratchett fan at first. She used to openly wonder why he was more popular than, say, Tom Holt. (Who I happen to love, but never mind.) I asked her about this, and she said something about how his characters were often cardboard; more caricature than character. I said, yeah, I can see that complaint about his early books, but he’s gotten better. I handed her Men at Arms, and said, “this is the first of his books where I really felt like I connected with the characters. Try this, and if you still don’t like it, I’ll never object to your complaints about Pratchett again.”

    A couple of days later, she handed it back to me and said, “Ok, you were right. More please.” 🙂

    On the other hand, Pratchett (like Heinlein, who I riffed on a few days ago) definitely had a lot of stuff that can really only be described as message-fic. And, like Heinlein, the messages were frequently ones the Puppies should dislike. Sexual and racial equality, distaste for organized religion, etc. (Although Pratchett never wrote a story about transexual self-incest, unlike Mr. Heinlein.) Which only makes it odder that they’re such fans. (Not that I mind that they actually like some decent fiction, of course.) Some of Pratchett’s works seem way more like message-fic to me than anything found in (to pick an example not-at-all at random) Ancillary Justice.

    Maybe they’re confused by the presence of the word “Justice” in the name. Does that automatically make the author an SJW? Someone alert DC Comics. 🙂

  20. we still have slum lords that rent to illegals

    I take it you believe illegals should live under bridges and shrubs.

    Why are you here?

  21. @Chris Nelson

    You’re falling into the same fallacy buwaya did the other day. Don’t make assumptions about the backgrounds of people who disagree with you on gun ownership. You don’t know.

  22. @Doctor Science

    Red Alert! WHOOP WHOOP! The Best of C.L. Moore is currently free at Amazon (US, at least) for Kindle!

    I can confirm that this also applies to the UK. *hastily downloads*

  23. My dad had a farm in Jamul, and I learned my very little conversational Spanish from one of his hired undocumented workers, so maybe let’s not play more-worldly-than-thou, mmkay? It is very possible to dislike a term because of one’s exposure to it.

    (Dad later worked for nearly a decade with Head Start in Maricopa County, and if you do not think that is full of children with parents who are sans green card…well.)

  24. Next round of the bracket coming up shortly. You can vote for a work, a tie, abstain, or vote for a work not on the bracket published between 2000 and 2014. For three-way matchups, please rank them IRV style.

  25. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FIVE:
    LOOK, DAVE, I CAN SEE YOU’RE REALLY UPSET ABOUT THIS BRACKET. I HONESTLY THINK YOU OUGHT TO SIT DOWN CALMLY, TAKE A STRESS PILL, AND THINK THINGS OVER.

    1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    2. AN UNCOMMON PROTAGONIST
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

  26. I considered nominating the Hugo Ceremony because I thought it was very charming, but I’d prefer it if I could find five great things to nominate that weren’t quite so self-congratolatory. 🙂 So that’s what I’m trying to do.

    @Lis Carey

    That sounds like a lovely memory and a great reason to value 2001. 🙂

    @Xtifr

    Spot on observations about Pratchett (and I agree that Holt is very good too).

    Re: AJ, perhaps that whole thing could have been avoided if only someone had mentioned that Justice was the name of the ship!

  27. @Tasha
    Lets run down the facts
    It’s an older neighborhood built after WWII. Most of the house are 1000 square ft or less, but the lots are a good size. The almost all of the first generation of owners has moved on or passed on. I could send you media articles and tax records as well as pictures.

    On my side of the block: Rent house, Boarded up house, my house, 11 folks, widower, 9 folks, rent house, house, house.

    On the other side: Empty lot (meth house), lovely elder couple, rent house (is currently empty due to vandals), lovely elder couple, rent house, 8 folks, rent house, former meth house (rebuilt after fire), rent house, house for sale.

    The area is changing due to strong growth nearby and demand for housing. The city is focusing on helping both the homeowners and the renters by enforcing new code and rental standards.

    It’s change from when we first moved in, I no longer find stolen cars parked on the curb, trash thrown in the yards, freon missing from the compressor due to huffers, yard sales of stolen goods, meth zombies heading for E***’s house nor motorcycles running packages to the park nearby.

  28. Round Five Statistics

    There are now an equal number of male and female authors. U.S. authors, however, now dominate, with only one remaining representing another country (unsurprisingly, the UK). Not a single “fantasy trope” book has been knocked out from last round to this, and what’s more zombies have actually INCREASED their numbers, sort of, because I somehow totally forgot to include the zombies in Leviathan Wakes. Zombies in all previous statistics should be increased by 1 book, and novels with zombies now make up more than a quarter of all books remaining on the bracket. The contagion is spreading.

    Women: 50% (4/8)
    Men: 50% (4/8)

    U.S.: 87.5% (7/8)
    UK: 12.5% (1/8)

    Zombies: 28.6% (2/7)
    Vampires: 14.3% (1/7)
    Demons: 14.3% (1/7)
    Tavern in the Snow: 14.3% (1/7)

  29. 1. Anathem
    2. Ancillary Justice

    I bought a copy of Ancillary Mercy at the Kanata Chapters today.

  30. You get a bracket! You get a bracket! You get a bracket! You all get a bracket!

    1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    2. AN UNCOMMON PROTAGONIST
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

  31. 2. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    Not that I haven’t made my preferences clear, I love this book and if Mercy holds up, the whole series will end up on my regular reread list.

    3.
    1 Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    2 Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    3 The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    Head cloths please.

  32. 1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    AUGH! ARGH!!!! AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH. AIIIAAAEEEEIIIEEEEEE!!!!
    Even my WIFE wants to smash your dice to powder!
    I want to say TIE. But I will (sob) go with Anathem for this pairing. Though if it had been up against The Outskirter’s Secret or The Steerswoman I probably would have slit my wrists.

    2. AN UNCOMMON PROTAGONIST
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
    Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler
    Whimper

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    That one was comparatively easy.

  33. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FIVE:
    LOOK, DAVE, I CAN SEE YOU’RE REALLY UPSET ABOUT THIS BRACKET. I HONESTLY THINK YOU OUGHT TO SIT DOWN CALMLY, TAKE A STRESS PILL, AND THINK THINGS OVER.

    1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    I am not a Stephenson fan. I am very much a Kirstein fan.

    2. AN UNCOMMON PROTAGONIST
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    Rereading this right now in prep for Ancillary Mercy.

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE
    Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold

    I haven’t yet read the other two, but I will.

    And my vote for Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord.

  34. @PJ

    I take it you believe illegals should live under bridges and shrubs.

    Actually no. I’m pretty much resigned that people are people no matter what. It’s just that there’s a lot of unresolved issues surrounding the situation. The majority of the folks that live near us are hard working and generally respectful.

    Why are you here?

    Physically or metaphysically? 😉

    As a fan, some of the articles, links and discussions are interesting. And many of my other pastimes are firmly rooted in reality. I’m convinced that many others are not… LOL

  35. 1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    2. AN UNCOMMON PROTAGONIST
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE
    1. Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    2. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    3. The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey

    BTW, I created an image of Kyra’s dice (artist’s impression, based on her description). What do you-all think?

  36. At this point, voting for books I love, and not casing a vote for books I only like very very much:

    1. The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein
    2. Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

  37. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FIVE:

    1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE

    Of frakkin’ hell. No. NO.

    ARGH.

    3. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    2. The Girl with All the Gifts, M. R. Carey
    1. Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey

    The stress pill isn’t working @Kyra.

  38. 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION PART FIVE:
    LOOK, DAVE, I CAN SEE YOU’RE REALLY UPSET ABOUT THIS BRACKET. I HONESTLY THINK YOU OUGHT TO SIT DOWN CALMLY, TAKE A STRESS PILL, AND THINK THINGS OVER.

    1. THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
    Anathem, Neal Stephenson
    The Lost Steersman, Rosemary Kirstein

    Aaugh!!!
    tie

    2. AN UNCOMMON PROTAGONIST
    Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie

    3. FUNGUS, BIOWEAPON, OR PROTOMOLECULE
    2. Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold
    1. Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey
    DI is pretty weak toward the end. Leviathan sticks the landing better.

  39. @Kurt, I really enjoyed that story and would never have seen the Walton connection if you hadn’t pointed it out. Thanks for the peek behind the curtain!

  40. > “BTW, I created an image of Kyra’s dice (artist’s impression, based on her description). What do you-all think?”

    Pretty spot-on, although mine are grubbier from use!

    And those 10-siders got me through the ENTIRETY of Masks of Nyarlathotep intact, I’ll have you all know. The only character to survive from start to finish, after more than a year of Call of Cthulhu play. If you want to smash those dice, you will have to get through Katya Petrovna, who survived being orphaned as a child in the 1905 revolution, flew as a reconnaissance pilot in World War I when she was a teenager, escaped Russia when her beloved mentor Trotsky and all his followers were being purged by Stalin, and once kicked a star vampire in a tender organ the GM didn’t even know star vampires had.

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