Pixel Scroll 2/1/16 By the Pixels of Babylon, I Scrolled, For I Remembered Filing

(1) PRELIMINARY PUPPIES. Vox Day issued his first “preliminary recommendations” today: “Rabid Puppies 2016: Best New Writer” (Preliminary, since he may change them based on feedback about eligibility, or for other reasons.)

To kick things off, we’ll begin with the Campbell Award: Best New Writer category:

  • Pierce Brown
  • Cheah Kai Wai
  • Sebastien de Castell
  • Marc Miller
  • Andy Weir

There was a noteworthy exchange in the comments.

[Phil Sandifer] Just for the record, Vox, the only reason Andy Weir wasn’t on the ballot last year was the Puppies. Without you, the Campbell nominees last year would have been Chu, Weir, Alyssa Wong, Carmen Maria Marchado, and Django Wexler.

[VD] Oh, Phil, you’re always so careless. That is not the only reason. It is a reason. Had you SJWs favored Weir over Chu, he would have also been on the ballot.

In any event, since you all are such champions of Weir, I’m glad we will all be able to join forces and get him nominated.

(2) GRRM REQUESTS. After announcing that the Locus Recommended Reading List is online, George R.R. Martin explicitly said

Just for the record, before the issue is raised, let me state loudly and definitively that I do not want any of my work to be part of anyone’s slate, this year or any year. But I do feel, as I have said before, that a recommended reading list and a slate are two entirely different animals.

— an announcement whose timing may be more relevant today than it would have been yesterday.

(3) LOCUS SURVEY. You can now take the Locus Poll and Survey at Locus Online. Anyone can vote; Locus subscriber votes count double. Voting closes April 15.

Here is the online version of the 46th annual Locus Awards ballot, covering works that appeared in 2015.

In each category, you may vote for up to five works or nominees, ranking them 1 (first place) through 5 (fifth).

As always, we have seeded the ballot with options based on our 2015 Recommended Reading List [this link will open a new window], mainly because this greatly facilitates tallying of results. However, again as always, you are welcome to use the write-in boxes to vote for other titles and nominees in any category. If you do, please try to supply author, title, and place of publication, in a format like the options listed, where appropriate.

Do not vote for more than one item in a category at the same rank (e.g. two selections ranked 1st); if you do, we will disregard your votes in that category.

File 770 is seeded in the Best Magazine or Fanzine category and would cherish your fifth place votes. Or twenty-fifth, for that matter – the competition is formidable.

(4) IT IS THE END MY FRIEND. And perhaps this is the right place to admire John Scalzi’s Whatever post title: “The End of All Things on the 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List”.

(5) STATISTICS. Brandon Kempner at Chaos Horizon began the month of February by “Checking Back in with the SFWA Recommended Reading List”. He prepared a change table and interpreted the rising fortunes of various novels, beginning with the greatest uptick —

What does this tell us? That Lawrence M. Schoen’s Barsk has emerged as a major Nebula contender, despite being lightly read (as of January 30th, this only has 93 ratings on Goodreads, 31 on Amazon, much much lower than other Nebula/Hugo contenders). That’s due in part to Schoen’s late publication date: the novel came out on December 29, 2015. That’s a tough time to come out, as you get lost in the post-Christmas malaise. A Nebula nomination would drive a lot of attention to this book. Schoen now seems like a very good bet for the Nebula, particularly when we factor in that he received Nebula nominations in the Best Novella category in 2013, 2014, and 2015. There’s clearly a subset of Nebula voters that really like Schoen’s work; a Best Novel nomination might be a spark that gets him more read by the rest of us.

(6) CONGRATULATIONS SCOTT EDELMAN. He did it! Scott Edelman celebrates a special sale in “Never give up, never surrender: My 44-year question to sell a short story to Analog”.

I’ve lost track of how many submissions I made to Analog during the intervening years, first to Ben Bova, then Stan Schmidt (for more than three decades!), and now Trevor Quachri. Were there 25 short stories? Fifty? It’s probably been more than that, but I don’t know for sure. And it doesn’t really matter.

What matters is—in the face of rejection, I kept writing.

What matters is—in the face of rejection, I kept submitting.

What matters is—I never took it personally. I knew that I wasn’t the one being rejected—it was only the words on the page that weren’t the right match.

(7) WILL EISNER AUCTION. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is auctioning books from Will Eisner’s personal collection.

Will Eisner wasn’t just the godfather of comics, a creative force who changed the face of modern comics — he was also a staunch advocate for the freedom of expression. In celebration of Eisner’s indomitable talent and advocacy, CBLDF is delighted to offer up for auction books from Eisner’s own personal collection!

All books in this collection come from the late, great Will Eisner’s personal library. The books from this collection are bookplated with Eisner’s own personalized bookplate, featuring his most famous creation, The Spirit. Most of the books in this collection are signed and personalized to the master himself by creators whom Eisner inspired over his illustrious 70-year career

The items are on eBay. The CBLDF’s post has all the links to the various lots.

(8) FAN ART AT RSR. I see that with help from eFanzines’ Bill Burns, Rocket Stack Rank terrifically upgraded its “2016 Fan Artists” content. Gregory N. Hullender explains.

With the help of Bill Burns, we’ve updated the Best Fan Artist page at RSR to include cover art from eFanzines (plus a few that Bill scanned by hand). This doubled the number of artists and tripled the number of images, making it comparable to the Pro Artist page.

(9) INCONCEIVABLE. Japan’s huge convention Comic Market, aka Comiket, which draws half a million fans (in aggregate over three days) expects to be bumped from its facilities in 2020. What could bump an event that big? The Olympics. Anime News Network reports —

Tokyo Big Sight, the convention center where Comiket is usually held, announced earlier that it would not be able to hold the convention between April 2019 and October 2020. Event spaces have been closing throughout the Tokyo area for the past decade. Tokyo Big Sight has also announced that industry booths at this summer’s Comiket would close after two days (instead of the usual three) to accommodate construction work to expand the building for the upcoming Olympics.

(10) TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF THE CANON. We might call this a contrarian view.


  • February 1, 2003 – Space shuttle Columbia broke apart during re-entry, killing all seven astronauts aboard.


  • February 1, 1954 – Bill Mumy, soon to be seen in Space Command.

(13) WOODEN STARSHIP. A Washington Post article about the renovation of the original Starship Enterprise model reveals it was mostly made from big pieces of wood. When ready, the Enterprise will be displayed in a slightly more prestigious spot .

Collum said the model had long hung in the gift shop of the Air and Space Museum on the Mall. Now it is headed for the renovated Milestones of Flight Hall there.

“The historical relevance of the TV show, and this model, has grown,” he said. “So it’s now being brought up into the limelight, and it’s going to be in the same gallery as the ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ [and] the Apollo 11 command module.”

(14) HOW GAMES INSPIRE ENGAGING FICTION. N. K. Jemisin in “Gaming as connection: Thank you, stranger” talks about the aspect of game play that challenges her as a writer. (Beware spoilers about the game Journey.)

I see a lot of discussion about whether games are art. For me, there’s no point in discussing the matter, because this isn’t the first time I’ve had such a powerful emotional experience while gaming. That’s why I’m still a gamer, and will probably keep playing ’til I die. This is what art does: it moves you. Maybe it makes you angry, okay. Maybe it makes you laugh. Not all of it is good, but so what? There’s a lot of incredibly shitty art everywhere in the world. But the good art? That’s the stuff that has power, because you give it power. The stuff that lingers with you, days or years later, and changes you in small unexpected ways. The stuff that keeps you thinking. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to recreate that game experience with my fiction.

(15) SF IN CHINA. Shaoyan Hu discusses“The Changing Horizon: A Brief Summary of Chinese SF in Year 2015”  at Amazing Stories. Quite an impressive roundup.


There were more than 70 college SF clubs in China in year 2015. Compared to 120 clubs in 2012, the number was reduced. However, two independent fandoms, Future Affairs Administration in Beijing and SF AppleCore in Shanghai, were still very active.

SF AppleCore is the most important fandom in Eastern China. Last year, in addition to orchestrating the annual Shanghai Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, SF AppleCore continued to operate on a regular base to bring about the public SF events such as AppleCore Party (speeches and gatherings of fans) and AppleCore Reading Group.

Future Affairs Administration was the backbone behind the 2016 Worldcon bid for Beijing. Although the bid was not successful, they organized the Chinese Nebula Award ceremony in 2014. Last year, this fandom was consolidated into a media platform for SF and technology related information, although the function for fan events still remained.

(16) WORLDS OF LE GUIN. The Kickstarter fundraising appeal for Arwen Curry’s documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin has begun. So far, 514 backers have pledged $39,699 of the $80,000 goal. The SFWA Blog endorsed it today:

Viewers will accompany Le Guin on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way. To tell this story, the film reaches into the past as well as the future – to a childhood steeped in the myths and stories of disappeared Native peoples she heard as the daughter of prominent 19th century anthropologist Alfred Kroeber.

Le Guin’s story allows audiences to reflect on science fiction’s unique role in American culture, as a conduit for our utopian dreams, apocalyptic fears, and tempestuous romance with technology. Le Guin, by elevating science fiction from mind candy to serious speculation, has given permission to younger mainstream writers like Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, and Jonathan Lethem to explore fantastic elements in their work.

(17) CGI OVERDOSE? At Yahoo! News, “These ‘Star Wars’ Blooper Reels Show Exactly Why the Prequels Failed”.

The blooper reels for the Star Wars prequel films have been available for a while, but there’s a noticeable trend with all of them. Nearly every blooper — genuinely funny or otherwise — is filmed within a green screen backdrop.


[Thanks to Janice Gelb, JJ, Petrea Mitchell, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Gregory N. Hullender.]

289 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/1/16 By the Pixels of Babylon, I Scrolled, For I Remembered Filing

  1. Andrew M on February 2, 2016 at 6:31 am said:
    Is it not true that if ‘SJWs’ (i.e. regular Hugo voters) had preferred Weir to Chu, he would have been on the ballot (and Chu would not)? Part of the reason he was not nominated is surely that people were uncertain about his eligibility (as indeed they still are).

    People may have been unsure of his eligibility but despite this he would ordinarily have been one of the five selections made by regular Hugo voters.

  2. Nice to see that The Dark Forest isn’t getting a ton of attention. I really don’t want to have to read it, so I am hoping it isn’t on this next Hugo ballot. I really really did not like 3BP and was rooting for any other book (even the KJA) to win. At least I had fun reading the KJA book (mindless, cliche fun (plus, I had read the entire Saga of Seven Suns years ago in High school and College and enjoyed them enough to want to see what happened in the new novel)). Anyway, I really didn’t like 3BP, disagree with it winning, and don’t want to read the sequel.

  3. Re:13
    It’s not the bright, shiny, Men In Space aesthetic, but I think a wooden space ship makes a good deal of sense. I think Dan Simmons has a nice set of ones, in one of the books he wrote before he made the acquaintance of the deep end.

    I think that having the habitation and life support areas of a space ship be biological makes a great deal of sense. The ability to be always repairing itself, or simply the gift of being able to conduct various organic chemistry reaction in a container that doesn’t rust, and presumably has some extra safeguard against getting gunked up makes a lot of sense.

    Re (1): There’s a reason why the words “reason” and “logic” have had a declining currency, or are viewed as more open to argument or meta arguments, in the last few year. The people on the internet who use them the most.

    If you’re ever looking for a slice of life on various conservative subcultures in the USA, Beale’s family life is a legitimately fascinating topic of study that touches on many current subcultures. I’m mentioning this as a familiar name to provide a point of entry; I don’t see a point of re-hashing it all here.

    But the argument over Weir’s Campbell is a particularly pathetic bit of insane troll logic; my desire to nominate Weir anyway is rising. I liked Martian, and Weir having a number of nominations that sets him apart from the (likely) suspiciously similar nomination totals the other four will get seems fair.

  4. Is it not true that if ‘SJWs’ (i.e. regular Hugo voters) had preferred Weir to Chu, he would have been on the ballot (and Chu would not)?

    Not really. When one nominates, one has five slots to nominate. Chu got 106 nominations. Weir got 90. I suspect that there were a lot of ballots that had both Chu and Weir on them, so it probably wasn’t a question of ‘SJWs’ preferring Chu to Weir so much as not quite as many liked Weir better than some other author.

  5. 16 people thinking that since his novel came out in 2011 he therefore couldn’t possibly still qualify seems fairly reasonable. It certainly didn’t occur to me.

  6. Last magazine witterings:

    Asimovs, which admittedly I haven’t quite finished, was a decent issue but nothing really popped for me. There’s a novella about an alternate history Einstein with some sort of slightly confused multiverses and changing history element, and a novelette where the SF element simply serves as a metaphor for an (admittedly well-told) story of someone recovering from a bad accident). I quite liked The Baby Eaters by Ian McHugh which features some interesting and properly alien Aliens, and then Chasing Ivory which was just a pleasant but short scene of a scientist stalking mammoths which have been resurrected from DNA samples and reintroduced into the wild.

    I think Fantasy & Science Fiction beats out Asimovs this month, although again nothing with a wow factor. There’s a bit of a Mars theme, and Number Nine Moon by Alex Irvine is a simple but effective tale of some colonists in the course of abandoning Mars getting into trouble and having to Engineer their way out. Traditional, but solid, which could also be said for Vortex by Gregory Benford, with scientists probing a strange world-spanning underground lifeform on Mars. There’s also Mary Robinette Kowal’s follow-up to Lady Astronaut of Mars reprinted from her latest collection. The non-Mars story that stood out was Caspar D. Luckinbill, What Are You Going to Do? by Nick Wolven, where a man is afflicted by a viral marketing campaign designed to shame him into donating money to stop a conflict he’s never heard of. It’s a clever bit of satire in the same vein as his On the Night of the Robo-Bulls and Zombie Dancers last year, but unfortunately it loses its way for the ending.

  7. @Andrew M: not entirely certain where you want to go with this but enough Hugo voters liked Weir well enough to get him into 6th place on the Campbell list. Since I lack the ability to peer into alternate realities where Brad and Ted didn’t drop a deuce on nominations last year I can’t say this for certain, but it does seem extremely likely, barring Puppy-based tampering, Weir would’ve been right up in the shortlist alongside Chu and in with a legitimate shot at the tiara.

  8. Missed the edit window: Weir actually got 95 nominations for the Campbell, so it was even closer that I said before.

    The real point is that for all of their hand-wringing now about how the ‘SJWs” snubbed Weir and The Martian, neither the Sad or Rabid Puppies saw fit to put them on their slates. (The Martian got 141 nominations for Best Novel from us silly ‘SJWs’, which would have made it sixth had the Pups not slated).

    All of the support Weir and The Martian got in 2015 was due to the ‘SJW’s’. The Pups whining now are being lying hypocrites, which is par for the course for them.

  9. The funny thing is that if Beale had put Weir on his slate last year it would have been the perfect opportunity for him to shout about victory conditions. Weir vs Chu could have been painted as manly sciencey SF vs not-really-SF SJW positive discrimination*, with the bonus that Weir’s book is actually good. But instead Beale Xanatosed himself in the foot

    *It wouldn’t be an accurate description, but it would be in the same solar system as ‘accurate’, which is orders of magnitude better than anything else he’s come up with

  10. @steve davidson

    I asked Weir to publicly repudiate the slate inclusion.

    He has responded that he does not get involved with politics.

    Ask him if he’s comfortable having his name right above an article that says:

    I myself have been writing about America’s bi-factional ruling party for more than twelve years, but only recently has it seemed that people are beginning to wake up to the fact that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are genuinely on the side of the average white Americans who comprise the genuine American nation.


  11. I for one do not wish to read E. Nesbit’s University of Phoenix and Carrington College

  12. @Mark – except of course that he already is. He’s being used by Day.
    Like last year, I’ll not be nominating or voting for anything on a slate – unless the originator has requested that they not be included in these games. GRRM, Walton, Castro and others have made blanket requests. Slaters do not have to comply with those wishes, but it would be enough for me to clear the way to considering them for a vote.

  13. [ticky]

    I’ve also read The Dark Forest, and hope it doesn’t get nominated either. If you didn’t like Three Body, you probably won’t like this one. The only interesting thing, to me, about the first book (the Cultural Revolution section) is missing from this one, replaced by excruciating physics minutiae. If I was a physics student, I might have enjoyed this five-hundred-page slog; as an ordinary reader, I didn’t. Also, the author’s treatment of the few women to grace his story is…discouraging, to say the least.

    re: the Locus list

    I’m really surprised Ian Tregillis’ The Mechanical isn’t on it. I loved loved loved that book.

  14. @Greg Hullender: I won’t badger the poor guy. I explained the situation and also explained that I thought a “do not include me on your slates” was also a request to stay out of politics and then left it at that.

    I just wish that a larger number of creators had made a blanket statement after last year’s Hugo awards. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Now once again I’ll have to winnow my picks based on what does and does not appear on slates…

  15. @Steve

    I find Weir keeping out of it understandable from his POV, even though it’s disappointing for people who’ve had greater than average exposure to VDs bile (and for most people that exposure is a happy zero, although he does keep popping up in the oddest of places). I can’t really blame Weir for seeing a potential car crash and steering well clear of it, however much I’d personally love to see him telling VD to take a hike.

  16. Things fall apart, the pixels cannot scroll

    And what rough puppy, its hour come at last
    slouches towards Kansas City to be rejected?

    (I can’t remember if The Second Coming has been used before. How about a Pixel Scroll annex to the Puppy titles roundup?)

  17. 10) I vaguely remember similar comments when Star Trek Next Gen came out: “This isn’t Star Trek- Gene Roddenberry has obviously lost it. If he’d read my 200,000 word fanfic, he’d know that!”

  18. @Mark

    …and that’s a fair point. I’m not sure what Weir’s level of engagement has been like with the various issues around slating, Day’s arseholish-ness et al, but I would reckon that it’s entirely possible that his view is something like “Oh, some absolute tit I’ve never heard of is trying to help or hinder me on something that I need absolutely no help on.” and that there would be little to no upside for him to comment on it – i.e., much like Liu did when Day decided to put him at the top of his voting guide.

    Of course, this all plays into Day’s victory condition. Even in the year 897, this is known.

  19. @steve Davidson, there is an argument that recusing oneself from slates makes the slatemakers significant in a way that, eh, yeah, I don’t get involved in politics does not. You do you and if you want to give VD and the Sad Puppies space in your head sufficient that their choices determine yours, absent some appropriate noises from the folks they nominate, fine.

    Me, I think the various puppies are legion only in their idiocies and other than some sour amusement value are otherwise not worth a moment’s thought.

  20. This is why I take the approach of evaluating every nominated author or work on its merits, whether they were on a slate or not. I am profoundly uninterested in getting into detailed parsing of whether someone has sufficiently disassociated himself from people who are (be it admitted) rather horrible.

    I figure that someone who could only get a nomination through slating will be mediocre enough that I can evaluate their work on merit. Someone who could have gotten the nomination regardless of what the game-players and wreckers chose to do can likewise be evaluated on merit. Either way, I’m not giving the game-players and wreckers any more of my time or effort than they deserve.


    Gotta love how the African school is named “Uagadou,” which is a reference to the ancient Ghana empire and/or the capital of Burkina Faso, but it’s located somewhere in Uganda.

  22. @Andrew M: not entirely certain where you want to go with this but enough Hugo voters liked Weir well enough to get him into 6th place on the Campbell list.

    I don’t want to go anywhere in particular. All I mean is is that it is strictly and literally true that the slates were not the sole cause of Weir’s non-nomination, and that if enough people who liked his work had known (or believed) that he was eligible, he might well have been nominated even with slates.

  23. Ooh, lookee!

    There is an interview with Lois McMaster Bujold at Goodreads. Minor spoilers for the beginning of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

    Also, there may be a new Penric novella, but it seems to be resisting its creator right now.

    Here in 3367 we are enjoying the 1330 anniversary of the completion of the 15-volume Five Gods Epic.

  24. redheadedfemme

    I’m really surprised Ian Tregillis’ The Mechanical isn’t on it. I loved loved loved that book

    Have you read The Rising? I thought it continued the awesomeness well.

    Is Weir eligible? The Martian was sold as an eBook in 2011 and an audiobook in 2013. I thought that was a question last year.

  25. @All.

    I completely understand that Weir’s position would be different from my own on the matter. I was not expecting anything other than a “I don’t get involved” or “I’ll have to look into that”.

    I publicly stated my policy before last year’s awards. I am beholden by my own sense of propriety to maintain that policy (and also because I continue to believe it is the correct one). No one else is and I understand that as well.

    My understanding of the situation tells me that any perceived victory will lead to more and worse in the future. It would be nice if WSFS could do what Goodreads did, but we don’t have that luxury. The only defense we really have is the same one you use against a five year old having a tantrum- continue to demonstrate that their actions will have no material effect on the awards. Anything less will only encourage more tantrums.

  26. The John W. Campbell Award is given to the best new science fiction or fantasy writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy was published in a professional publication in the previous two years. For the 2016 award, which is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), the qualifying work must have been published in 2014 or 2015.

    There can be confusion over the term “professional publication” since the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS), and the award sponsor define it differently. For the purposes of the Campbell Award, professional publications are works sold for more than a nominal amount and published anywhere in the world.

    Please refer to the Eligibility F.A.Q. for an explanation of qualifying publications and answers to common questions.

    The Campbell Award is administered by the Worldcon, but the rules for awarding the Campbell are determined by the award sponsor, Dell Magazine. Eligibility rules were changed in 2005.


  27. And I’ll note the Writertopia list is not current. Sunil Patel is in his first year of eligibility and he’s not there.

  28. Anybody got a clue why the new Bujold is available as a physical book, as an audio download, but not as a digital download? Because that pisses me off in no small measure.

  29. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    I saw a post from her saying they were coming v soon, it’s a matter of where her publisher has coverage. The cover had the same trade dress as her recent ebook re-releases, so possibly she’s handling it herself.


    Writertopia depends on names being submitted, there’s an email on the page somewhere.


    I think your efforts to let slatees know are worthwhile, even if I expect a fair few to take Weirs stance.

  30. Anna, you’re in Europe, right? Bujold distributes her e-books herself outside North America and they won’t be available until the Hard Back is actually released. Feb 5 I think?

    Baen released their North American e-edition early.

  31. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan,

    Better still, this Baen Ebooks link will sell you an e copy in the UK.

    Amazon are quite picky about regional distribution rights of ebooks, but Baen don’t seem to care where their customers are. At least they didn’t when I bought the first dozen books off them a couple of years back. ETA And they still don’t. Just bought a copy myself.

  32. Writertopia depends on names being submitted, there’s an email on the page somewhere.

    Patel says he’s e-mailed them twice. I don’t know who’s on the other end of the e-mail.

  33. A small question.

    Why aren’t there more mentions of the Intergalactic Medicine Show?

    When I got back in a position to be able to subscribe to magazines, I sampled and/or subscribed to Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Asimov’s. I found them to be poorly edited (spelling/grammar) and many of the stories left me with a big ‘meh’.

    IGMS has generally been well edited and the stories have been generally enjoyable.

    Just curious…



    Oh well, that’s a bit slack then. They’ve definitely updated it quite recently though.


    I don’t recall seeing anything from IGMS being recommended around here, no. Feel free to start!

  35. For the purposes of the Campbell Award, professional publications are works…

    Interesting. Doesn’t mention audio first anywhere. Same issue that hit MRK’s Lady Astronaut I think. If The Martian was a 99c ebook then it’s falling under the nominal sum rules, but there are indeed Audible comments from 2013 on there, which makes me think it was available professionally then.

    But audible is not listed as a qualifying market.

  36. @Mark

    I’ll be glad to recommend something when I come across it.

    Reading hours are at a premium these days and I haven’t kept pace with my IGMS subscription.

    A couple current books…the complete HP Lovecraft….the complete Poe…plus the random “hey that looks interesting”. I’m sure you understand the problem..



  37. Just so everyone is clear on the definitions:

    Recommended Reading List: A list of works assembled by someone who looks like me, talks like me, and whom I personally like

    Slate: A list of works assembled by someone who looks different than me, talks different than me, or whom I personally dislike.

    As long as we’re all clear on the definitions, everything gets easier.

  38. Why aren’t there more mentions of the Intergalactic Medicine Show?

    I’ve read some stories from IGMS, and have been consistently underwhelmed. Rinehart’s story that was nominated for the Hugo last year, for example, was only okay. It was better than all of the other Puppy nominees in its category, but that’s kind of damning it with faint praise.

  39. @Mark: The Headley story is inspired by a family of folktales that includes “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “The White Pet”. In the latter, the “white pet” (a sheep, not a cat) overhears his owner saying that he’s to be slaughtered at Christmas, so he runs away and joins up with a series of other animals who’ve also heard that they’re doomed at Christmas. In the former, animals mistreated by humans go on the road heading for Bremen which they’ve heard is a land of liberty where they can make a living as musicians. In both versions, they come across an abandoned farm taken over by robbers, chase away the robbers in a comic fashion, and live there happily ever after (never getting to Bremen).

  40. I’d forgotten that Ashes to Ashes was from IGMS. It was the sort of story that I’d be perfectly content to find filling an issue, but didn’t make much impression – I just had to google it to remind me which one it was!

  41. Ashes to Ashes was my first choice in that category. I really enjoyed it and thought it caught the human thirst for freedom pretty well. Very Heinlein-esque.


  42. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    ETA: So, while Amazon shows a Kindle version available, when I try to buy it, I’m told it’s not available in my country. I’m not too fussed as a dead tree version is already en-route, but I can see how that would be frustrating.

  43. @Del Rayva
    I have a more important question: Does your native parallel universe have zeppelins?

  44. Very Heinlein-esque.

    Heinlein would have made the story interesting, which Grey really didn’t do. I thought one of the weaknesses of the story was that it suggested other, more interesting plot lines, and then followed-up on one that was kind of dull.

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