Pixel Scroll 6/24/16 Porcupine Tree’s Yellow Pixel Dreamscroll

(1) BREXIT. J. K. Rowling’s response to the Brexit voting reports was –

“Death Eaters are everywhere,” said Micheline Hess.

(2) BRIXIT. Caption: “Live scenes from the Channel tunnel.”

View post on imgur.com

(3) BEAT THE RUSH. Buzzfeed found “19 People Who Are Moving To Australia Now That Britain Is Leaving Europe”. One of them is ours.

  1. This person who was so prepared to move to Australia that they already did it.

(4) AUF WIEDERSEHEN. So who’s cheering the outcome? Vox Day, naturally: “England and Wales choose freedom”.

The Fourth Reich is rejected by a narrow margin, 52 percent to 48 percent, thanks to the actual British people, who outvoted the invaders, the traitors, the sell-outs, and the Scots….

(5) IMPORT DUTY. And Marko Kloos has his joke ready.

(6) THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE. Darth Vader will be back in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and James Earl Jones will be back as Darth’s voice.

The original Sith Lord is back. A new cover story from Entertainment Weekly confirms plenty of details for this winter’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but there’s one long-rumored detail that’s sure to have fans breathing heavily: Darth Vader will return in the new film.

It only makes sense that Anakin Skywalker would once again plague the Rebellion in Rogue One. The plot of the film sees a band of ragtag Rebel fighters tracking down plans for the Death Star from the original Star Wars trilogy. The planet-sized weapon was Vader’s pet project, so seeing him again isn’t a total surprise. Still, it’s nice to finally have the information 100% locked in after months of speculation.

Update: It gets better. EW has also confirmed that James Earl Jones will be returning to voice Vader in Rogue One. Jones reprised the role for the animated Star Wars Rebels recently, but this will mark a big return to the silver screen. However, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy cautioned fans not to expect Vader to be a prominent presence in Rogue One. “He will be in the movie sparingly. But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.” Well, he only had 12 minutes of screen time in the original Star Wars, and look how that turned out.

(7) PAT CADIGAN UPDATE. Yesterday Pat Cadigan told about a great doctor’s report in “Yeah, Cancer––Keep Running, You Little B!tch”.

My oncologist was smiling broadly  even before she called my name.

The level of cancer in my body has fallen again, this time very slightly. The rest of my tests are perfect. Unquote; she said perfect. She also likes my I’m Making Cancer My B!tch t-shirt. I am killing this cancer thing.

Maybe people’s reaction was too effusive. Pat thought they got the wrong idea, so today she wrote, “I Think I Have To Clarify Something”.

Which is to say, I still have cancer, and unless something miraculous happens, I will always have cancer. Recurrent endometrial cancer (aka recurrent uterine cancer) is inoperable, incurable, and terminal. There are something like four different forms (I think it’s four) and I have the one with the worst prognosis.

However, it is treatable. My cancer cells have progesterone receptors, which means that doses of progesterone can keep it stabilised at a low level. For how long? Impossible to say. Could be months. Could be a few years. Could be more than a few years. Nobody knows…just like someone without cancer. Technically, I’m still terminal but now the more accurate term would be incurable. My own preference is incorrigible.

(8) HE SAYS GIVE THANKS. Peter David has this take on the Star Trek fan film guidelines.

So thanks mostly to the efforts of the “Axanar” people, the guys who raised a million bucks to produce a “Star Trek” based film which resulted in a lawsuit, Paramount has now issued specific guidelines for anyone who wants to make a Trek fan film. And naturally fans are unhappy about it.

My response?

You guys are damned lucky.

When I was producing a “Star Trek” fanzine back in the 1970s, Paramount issued a decree: No one could write “Star Trek” fanfic. It was copyright infringement, plain and simple, and not to be allowed. At one convention I attended, Paramount lawyers actually came into the dealer’s room and confiscated peoples’ fanzines from right off their tables.

The fact that they loosened up to the degree that they have should be something fan filmmakers should feel damned grateful for….

(9) MEANWHILE CAPTAIN KIRK IS OUT OF WORK. At the Saturn Awards, William Shatner told a reporter he’s up for it.

Shatner, 85, spoke to reporters at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles, and confirmed that he will not appear in “Star Trek Beyond,” according to the Belfast Telegraph.

But when asked about future movies, the actor was willing.

“We’d all be open to it, but it’s not going to happen,” he said. “”The fans would love to see it. Have them write to [‘Star Trek Beyond’ producer] J.J. Abrams at Paramount Studios.”

(10) COMIC BOOK ART. M.D. Jackson continues answering “Why Was Early Comic Book Art so Crude? (Part 3)” at Amazing Stories. By now, things are looking up –

[At Marvel] The artists excelled at creating dynamic panels. More than just men in tights who beat up bad guys, the Marvel heroes had depth and the art reflected that. Unusual angles and lighting effects were explored and the character’s expressions had to relay the complex emotions they were feeling (even when they were wearing a mask).

(11) WHERE THE BOYS ARE. Vox Day saw the Yahoo! Movies post about the Moana trailer disguising that it’s a princess movie (guess where?) and made a trenchant comment in “The Disney bait-and-switch” at Vox Popoli.

Boys don’t want to see movies about princesses. Boys don’t want to read books about romances either. But rather than simply making movies that boys want to see and publishing books that boys want to read, the SJWs in Hollywood and in publishing think that the secret to success is making princess movies and publishing romances, then deceiving everyone as to the content.

(12) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 24, 1997 — The U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • June 24, 1947 – Peter Weller, of Buckaroo Banzai fame.

(14) TODAY’S TRIVIA

  • Bela Lugosi’s appearance in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) would be only the second time he appeared as Dracula on screen. It would also be his last time to do so.

(15) BY JOVE, I THINK THEY’VE GOT IT.

(16) RULES OF THE ROAD. Alexandra Erin, in “The Internet Is Not Your Global Village”, experiments with a solution to a chronic shortcoming of social media.

Now, I don’t have a detailed set of guidelines or proposed social mores for interacting with people online to go with this observation. I can tell you this: the ones we use for offline interactions don’t work, and any proposed rule needs to take into account the vast differences between online interactions and offline ones.

So let’s take a quick stab at formulating some….

You Having Something To Say Is Not The Same As Me Having Something To Hear

If you and I are having a conversation and what I say sparks some kind of personal connection with you, then by all means, you take that tangent and you run with it. I mean, there are nuances and shades… if I’m talking about the time my true love got caught in a bear trap along with a bear who mauled them to death while a swarm of bees enraged by the bear stealing honey stung them both, further aggravating the bear, and you say, “Yeah, speaking of pain, that reminds me of the time I got a paper cut. Hurt like anything, it did!”… well, I think most people would say that’s a bit boorish.

But if we’re just talking, and I mention a frustration and you’re like, “I know what that’s like, [similar experience]”… that’s a conversation.

(17) TESTING FOR TWANG. When an author decides to have nasal surgery, it’s always nice to have it reviewed in full multimedia fashion as Mary Robinette Kowal does in “What do I sound like after surgery? Like this…”

I’ve been very pleased that I still look like myself. The swelling will keep going down, albeit more slowly. The big question though is… what do I sound like? As an audiobook narrator, this was one of the things I was worried about since mucking about with the nose and sinuses can change resonance.

So, here, for your amusement, are four recordings of me reading the same piece of text….

(18) ANIME NEXT. Petréa Mitchell brings the harvest home early with her “Summer 2016 Anime Preview” at Amazing Stories.

Just when you’re all settled into the routine of one anime season, it’s time for another! Here’s what the sf world will get to see from the anime world in July.

(19) FRANK OR VITRIOLIC? the Little Red Reviewer asks a question to begin “On writing negative reviews”

Hey blogger buddies – do you write negative reviews? And what I mean by a negative review isn’t “this book sucks”, it’s “this book didn’t work for me and let me tell you why”. A well written negative review tells you just as much information about the book about a positive review. When I write critical / negative reviews, it’s mostly to talk about why I bounced off a book, or why I though the book was problematic. Oftentimes, it’s a book that the majority of readers really enjoyed, perhaps the book even won a ton of awards, but really, really didn’t work for me. Any of my friends will tell you I’m not the kind of person to sugar coat. If I think something didn’t work on some level, I’m going to say so. If I was offended by something, or thought it was boring, or thought the POV switches weren’t clear, I’m going to say so. If a book made me, personally, feel like the world of that book is not a world I would be welcome in, I’m going to say that too.

I do not write negative reviews to dig at an author, or to convince others not to read that author’s books…

(20) SHOULD WE? Krysta at Pages Unbound Reviews asks “Why Aren’t We Talking about Religious Diversity?”

However, religious diversity is regularly glossed over in discussions of representations or is regularly dismissed by those who find a character of faith to be “too preachy” or don’t want religion “shoved down their throats.”  This attitude does a disservice to the many people of faith throughout the world who would also like to see themselves reflected in characters in books.  It assumes that the presence of an individual of faith is, by nature, overbearing, unwelcome, and oppressive–that is, apparently an individual is allowed to have a faith as long as no one else has the misfortune of knowing about it.

However, despite the lack of characters of faith in modern and mainstream literature, a majority of the world identifies with some form of religion.  The Pew Research Group in 2010 determined that 16.3% of respondents were not affiliated with any sort of religion.  The other ~83% identified with a religious group.  That is, in any group of ten people, you could theoretically assume eight were religious.  And yet religion remains absent in most YA and MG books.

But, for many individuals, religion is more than an abstract belief in a higher deity.  Religion is something that affects one’s philosophy, one’s actions, one’s daily life.

(21) MAYBE A LITTLE AFRAID. Yahoo! Movies describes the Ghostbusters theme remake.

Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters gives everything a full redo — including, it turns out, the classic, catchy, campy theme song by Ray Parker Jr. The theme song as revamped by Fall Out Boy with Missy Elliott, released this morning (hear it above), abandons the bright pop past in favor of a darker guitar-heavy dose of alternative/mid-2000s emo angst. Be prepared to hear this song in various Hot Topics for the next couple of weeks/months/years.

 

(22) THE MYSTERIOUS EAST. A surprising objective of Russian technological research? The BBC explains in “Beam me up, Prime Minister”.

A popular Russian paper said that a governmental working group was meeting up to discuss the national technological development programme. The programme envisages, among other things, that by 2035 Russia will develop its own programming language, secure communications systems and… teleportation.

For the initial stage of the programme development, 2016-18, the agency responsible is seeking about 10bn roubles (£100m) in financing.

There was an online reaction to this bold statement. Russian internet users reacted in all kinds of different ways, from disbelief, to amazement to sarcasm.

…In another typical comment, popular user “Dyadyushka Shu” joked about money being “teleported” away from Russia: “Experiments in teleportation have been going on in Russia for a long time – billions of dollars have already been successfully teleported to Panama offshores.”

Spoiler Warning: Chip Hitchcock explains, “Really only at the quantum level, but handled so clumsily that the satirists had a field day.”

(23) QUEASINE. Is this what Death Eaters snack on?

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Dave Doering for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Simon Bisson.]

208 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/24/16 Porcupine Tree’s Yellow Pixel Dreamscroll

  1. “Did a little bit of looking for Japanese Hell (as opposed to the Land of the Dead) and came across a blog post describing some of the levels and tortures contained therein. I would think the oni in those levels closely correspond with the Christian concept of demons.”

    I’ve actually thought of writing a post of these buddhist hells (of which the Japanese seem quite close). I’ve been interested in them since I saw Big Trouble In Little China. Since then I have found wonderful representations of them in temples and amusement parks in Beijing, Singapore, Sri Lanka and more and have photos from all places. Also have a set of postcards with them from Bangkok.

    They are a bit better than the christian hell (of the Dante type) in that they are like a purgatory – you are punished to relieve you of sin and then reborn again. But there seems to be a ridiculous level of detail in the punishments. I have a picture from Beijing of the hell for “petty officials” and a photo of the punishment that is inflicted on you if you tell a rude joke to a monk.

  2. Regarding religion in SFF (or fiction in general), I don’t have a problem with religion as characterisation, i.e. if a book happens to contain characters who happen to be religious.

    However, when a novel starts to engage in lengthy theological discussions, I quickly check out, because I simply don’t like lengthy discussions of theology or philosophy in my fiction. This is also why I’m reluctant to give Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning a try, because the excerpt at Tor.com made me worry that there would be a lot of discussion of philosophy and religion via the sensesayer character. Can anybody who’s read it tell me if the excerpt was representative in that regard?

    Another thing that annoys me are mentions of religion in worlds where this makes no sense, e.g. Christians in secondary worlds, where there is no reason why Christianity should exist (and normally there are no Jews either, just Christianity magically evolving without Judaism). Simon R. Green is guilty of this in his (otherwise excellent) Forest Kingdom and Hawk and Fisher novels. And while I don’t mind atheist futures or futures where religion is never mentioned (because this matches my experience in a largely secular society), futures where Christianity, usually some flavour of Catholicism, is the only surviving religion, while all other religions seem to have died out, also annoy me, because they’re just so unrealistic, especially since there is never an explanation what happened to all the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs, etc…. Guilty of this are Simon R. Green Deathstalker series (which I really enjoyed, but the space Jesuits and warrior nuns were eye-roll inducing, as was Santa on the planet of the living toys) and Ann Aguirre’s otherwise excellent Sirantha Jax series (apparently, Catholicism has evolved into outright worship of Mary, while all other religions save those of aliens have died out).

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that “religion” in this context usually means an American interpretation of Christianity. Now I’m not religious, but consider myself culturally Christian, i.e. I celebrate Christmas and go through the motions, when at a religious funeral or wedding. However, the flavour of Christianity I grew up with is North European Lutheran Protestantism, which is very different from American variations of Protestantism. Hence, I rolled my eyes at the “modestly dressed Protestants” in the article, because over here the only ones who dress what Americans call modest are some Muslims. Ditto for the ash on the forehead on Ash Wednesday, since over here Ash Wednesday is the day after Carnival (in areas that celebrate), when people nurse their hangovers.

    The version of Christianity I grew up with (I did go through confirmation at age 14 and dropped out soon thereafter) was also a very rational version where hell, the devil, demons, angels, etc… were viewed as metaphors rather than as literal beings. Hence, the fallen angels, demons, hell and damnation that permeates some forms of Christian flavoured urban fantasy is nearly as alienating to me as it is to Tasha, because this has nothing to do with the Christianity I am familiar with. Indeed, this caused me to drop plenty of books and to stop watching the Constantine TV show, Sleepy Hollow and Supernatural, when it became too much “angels, hell and damnation” stuff.

    Regarding Jewish SFF, I have a file where I categorise SFF according to ethnic, religious, historical and cultural background and for a long time the Jewish category was completely empty. It no longer is, though most of the books have already been mentioned here. Though I’d like to add Shira Glassman, who writes lesbian Jewish fantasy, and my friend Jessica Rydill, who has written a Jewish flavoured fantasy series.

  3. @Lis Carey

    I agree, religious characters portrayed only as bad guys is tiresome. The evil Catholic priest or nun is such a cliché at this point, ditto for the Muslim terrorist, that a writer better have a very good reason for continuing to use it.

  4. Speaking of Lois McMaster Bujold, I just read and reviewed Penric and the Shaman and gave it five stars. It picks up four years after the end of Penric’s Demon. Penric accompanies a “locator,” who has been sent to arrest a man suspected of murder–a man too powerful to be apprehended without Penric’s help. Except things turn out to be more complicated than they look.

    I think this novella is very readable even for someone who didn’t read “Penric’s Demon.”

  5. @Cora Buhlert
    Thanks for recommendations. Both authors look interesting.

    ETA: I’m probably as Americancentric as anyone else. I try having friends around the world and reading non-American books. Not sure it’s helped much.

  6. lurkertype on June 24, 2016 at 9:33 pm said:

    (4) Another day, another thing for Teddy to be utterly, completely wrong about!

    I personally am looking forward to Scotland becoming independent and rejoining the EU, which should be pretty soon.

    The Empire is long gone, old people; you’re living on part of an island with lousy weather and few natural resources. Enjoy having your NHS cut further, no one to do the dirty work, and all that. I hope Jo Cox haunts each and every one of you.

    Orwell, about eighty years ago, in The Road to Wigan Pier:

    For, apart from any other consideration, the high standard of life we enjoy in England depends upon our keeping a tight hold on the Empire, particularly the tropical portions of it such as India and Africa. Under the capitalist system, in order that England may live in comparative comfort, a hundred million Indians must live on the verge of starvation — an evil state of affairs, but you acquiesce in it every time you step into a taxi or eat a plate of strawberries and cream. The alternative is to throw the Empire overboard and reduce England to a cold and unimportant little island where we should all have to work very hard and live mainly on herrings and potatoes.

  7. I don’t mind “religion” in SF when it turns to philosophical discussion (tho much prefer it when the unreal is trumped by the real at the end of the discussion)

    Contact by Sagan I thought addressed the divide nicely while still leaving a puzzle – and suggesting that at some point both are aspects of the same argument (separate magisteria made whole, I suppose) – but the equivalence annoyed me.

    If I remember correctly, a “home religion” was often found in the Heinlein juvies – something paid little heed to by the main characters and quickly dropped from the text after being mentioned…interesting.

  8. @lurkertype: “Enjoy having your NHS cut further, no one to do the dirty work, and all that.” Er, I’m seeing a lot of reactions from disabled British friends – like the File’s own Meredith – but oddly, not a lot of rejoicing. The fact that they were all in the 48% and not interested in screwing over others may have something to do with this.

  9. Peer Sylvester on June 25, 2016 at 11:08 am said:

    (11): So this “Vox Day” claims that capitalism doesnt work? Must be a Communist.

    He often blends in critiques of conservatism that he has borrowed and adapted from the left, along with more extreme views of nativism. You might even call his views nationalistic socialism at times – I’m sure he could probably work that into a more snappy name for his brand of rightwing extremism.

  10. ” The alternative is to throw the Empire overboard and reduce England to a cold and unimportant little island where we should all have to work very hard and live mainly on herrings and potatoes.”

    The Swedish Alternative.

  11. I’m thrilled to see discussion of diversity and representation addressing religion; as an Orthodox Jew, this is certainly a topic I’ve got Feels about 🙂

    I haven’t read the comments yet, although I’ll go back to read them now. Then I’ll fall silent, because it’s 1am here.

    I will drop in two really good pointers on the topic:

    One is Abigail Nussbaum’s What Does God Need With A Space Station, which discusses how Star Trek: DS9 is a rare example of excellent, intelligent treatment of religion and faith.

    The other is Orson Scott Card’s introduction to “Cruel Miracles,” book 4 of his Maps in a Mirror anthology, where he talks about different kinds of “religious” literature, and how absent religion is from so much of modern fiction – and how speculative fiction is “the last American refuge of religious literature.” It’s a startling piece, not least for how familiar it sounds.

    Both of these are thought-provoking pieces which have stayed with me for many years now. I feel they’ve added clarity to my own thoughts on the subject (which, I confess, remain stubbornly unclear). I recommend them both highly.

  12. @Cora:

    This is also why I’m reluctant to give Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning a try, because the excerpt at Tor.com made me worry that there would be a lot of discussion of philosophy and religion via the sensesayer character. Can anybody who’s read it tell me if the excerpt was representative in that regard?

    I LOVED Too Like The Lightning. I’d consider the excerpt an excellent representation of the whole – if that didn’t click for you, I’d give it a pass. I wouldn’t say the book continues to use the sensayer as a focus or mouthpiece, but philosophy is a central focus in the book, and is discussed in many different ways And the unique construction of religion as something that has turned personal, intimate, secret, something you do in the privacy of your own mind but never reveal to anybody else, is a critical part of the worldbuilding and the book.

  13. Hampus Eckerman on June 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm said:

    ” The alternative is to throw the Empire overboard and reduce England to a cold and unimportant little island where we should all have to work very hard and live mainly on herrings and potatoes.”

    The Swedish Alternative.

    I often wonder, in alt-history sort of way, if events in 1066 had worked out a bit differently and if the actual Viking army had beaten the Saxons rather than the secondhand Frenchified former Viking army, whether Britain would have ended up being more like the Scandanavian nations or even counted as one of those countries that aren’t technically in Scandanavia but are effectively Scandanavianish.

  14. Gosh religion. Hmm.

    I think part of the issue here is that it is hard to write about religion or religious people without that writing being underpinned by your views on religion in general. Further, some of those views are a matter of conscience and some of those views are more grounded in fact(ish) – i.e. within the bounds of the sociology, anthropology and history of religion.

    Stories set in the now or near to the now can be more descriptive and less speculative about religion. Stories set in the historical past can draw upon factual accounts and analysis.

    But fantasy and worlds/times more distant from now is more complex. Religions change over time but religion can also be about asserting continuity with the past. A story set a hundred years from now in which somebody is, say, a Catholic or a Sunni Muslim but one whose religion is indistinguishable from the Catholicism or Sunni Islam of today (or some variety of either), is still asserting something about those varieties of religion (i.e. that they haven’t changed despite 100 years + whatever else has happened in the backstory). On the other hand, if the story extrapolates some changes then that is more overtly editorialising not only on religion in general but on those religions in particular.

  15. I often wonder, in alt-history sort of way, if events in 1066 had worked out a bit differently and if the actual Viking army had beaten the Saxons rather than the secondhand Frenchified former Viking army, whether Britain would have ended up being more like the Scandanavian nations or even counted as one of those countries that aren’t technically in Scandanavia but are effectively Scandanavianish.

    Probably not. If Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinsson had won the Battle of Stamford Bridge–on 25 September near York, England–there would have been *no one* to stop William the Bastard marching straight to London (and the English treasury) after his army landed at Pevensey on 29 September. King Harold Godwinsson had his entire army and most of the fyrd up in Yorkshire and he’d let the hired Navy break up and go home earlier in September.

    For King Harald Hardrada to have become King of England he would have had to march his depleted* army from York to London, fight an entrenched, prepared, well funded, and determined William with a fresh and much larger army, and win. With all of England between York and London against him.

    Though it’s just possible that Harald Hardrada and Tostig might have come upon the Norman army whilst they were sick as dogs (this happened after the Battle of Hastings). That might have turned the tide.

    * Having fought both the Battle of Fulford and the Battle of Stamford Bridge within five days of each other, then marching down to London.

  16. @Camestros:
    On religions changing over time: Brian Aldiss’s Helliconia trilogy has a religion which changes massively between the first and third books.

  17. ULTRAGOTHA on June 25, 2016 at 3:28 pm said:

    I often wonder, in alt-history sort of way, if events in 1066 had worked out a bit differently and if the actual Viking army had beaten the Saxons rather than the secondhand Frenchified former Viking army, whether Britain would have ended up being more like the Scandanavian nations or even counted as one of those countries that aren’t technically in Scandanavia but are effectively Scandanavianish.

    Probably not. If Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinsson had won the Battle of Stamford Bridge–on 25 September near York, England–there would have been *no one* to stop William the Bastard marching straight to London (and the English treasury) after his army landed at Pevensey on 29 September. King Harold Godwinsson had his entire army and most of the fyrd up in Yorkshire and he’d let the hired Navy break up and go home earlier in September.

    I’ll assume a sudden, unexpected storm in the middle of the English Channel 🙂 or William gets struck by lightning or eaten by a bear (or both)

    And would all of England have been against Hardrada? (genuine question – as in, I’ve no idea)

  18. Peter J on June 25, 2016 at 3:36 pm said:

    @Camestros:
    On religions changing over time: Brian Aldiss’s Helliconia trilogy has a religion which changes massively between the first and third books.

    Good example!
    Mind you the phagor’s religion/ancestor-worship is more unchanging and is treated as if it is true (i.e. they really do commune with the spirits of their dead) – if I remember correctly (it has been a long time since I read the books)

  19. Congratulations to the Locus Award winners!

    SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
    Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

    FANTASY NOVEL
    Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

    YOUNG ADULT BOOK
    The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)

    FIRST NOVEL
    The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)

    NOVELLA
    Slow Bullets, Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

    NOVELETTE
    ‘‘Black Dog’’, Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning)

    SHORT STORY
    ‘‘Cat Pictures Please’’, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)

    ANTHOLOGY
    Old Venus, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Bantam)

    COLLECTION
    Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, Neil Gaiman (Morrow)

    MAGAZINE
    Asimov’s

    PUBLISHER
    Tor

    EDITOR
    David G. Hartwell

    ARTIST
    Michael Whelan

    NON-FICTION
    Letters to Tiptree, Alisa Krasnostein & Alexandra Pierce, eds. (Twelfth Planet)

    ART BOOK
    Julie Dillon, Julie Dillon’s Imagined Realms, Book 2: Earth and Sky (self-published)

  20. And would all of England have been against Hardrada? (genuine question – as in, I’ve no idea)

    At that point? Probably yes–at least the Northumbrians and the Mercians, which are the two Earldoms they’d have to cross to get from York to London. The Battle of Fulford was against the Earl of Northumbria (Morcar) and the Earl of Mercia (Edwin) who were brothers.

    The reason Tostig Godwinson (King Harold’s younger brother) was invading England with King Harald Hardrada is because he’d been exiled from England in 1065 by King Edmund for murdering prominent members of important families when he’d been Earl of Northumbria. Not a popular guy. Plus, renewed Scandinavian invasion (after the chaos of the post-Canute years) would not have been popular, I don’t think.

    No one would have realized at the time how bad the Norman invasion would be for them all.

  21. ULTRAGOTHA on June 25, 2016 at 4:04 pm said:

    And would all of England have been against Hardrada? (genuine question – as in, I’ve no idea)

    At that point? Probably yes–at least the Northumbrians and the Mercians, which are the two Earldoms they’d have to cross to get from York to London. The Battle of Fulford was against the Earl of Northumbria (Morcar) and the Earl of Mercia (Edwin) who were brothers.

    The reason Tostig Godwinson (King Harold’s younger brother) was invading England with King Harald Hardrada is because he’d been exiled from England in 1065 by King Edmund for murdering prominent members of important families when he’d been Earl of Northumbria. Not a popular guy. Plus, renewed Scandinavian invasion (after the chaos of the post-Canute years) would not have been popular, I don’t think.

    No one would have realized at the time how bad the Norman invasion would be for them all.

    Particularly for the north.

  22. It wasn’t fuzzy lovely times for Mercia, East Anglia, Kent, Essex, Sussex, or Wessex either. The Norman Invasion resulted in the deliberate destruction of much of Anglo-Saxon culture.

    I might be a bit of an Anglo-Saxon partisan here.

  23. ULTRAGOTHA on June 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm said:

    It wasn’t fuzzy lovely times for Mercia, East Anglia, Kent, Essex, Sussex, or Wessex either. The Norman Invasion resulted in the deliberate destruction of much of Anglo-Saxon culture.

    I might be a bit of an Anglo-Saxon partisan here.

    🙂

  24. ULTRAGOTHA: I might be a bit of an Anglo-Saxon partisan here.

    Don’t let me stop you, though I’m sure in another five minutes somebody will be explaining it was their ancestors got run over when the Saxons landed on the beach.

  25. Don’t let me stop you, though I’m sure in another five minutes somebody will be explaining it was their ancestors got run over when the Saxons landed on the beach.

    That’s what’s the Matter with Britain.

    (Too obscure a pun?)

  26. Mike Glyer on June 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm said:

    ULTRAGOTHA: I might be a bit of an Anglo-Saxon partisan here.

    Don’t let me stop you, though I’m sure in another five minutes somebody will be explaining it was their ancestors got run over when the Saxons landed on the beach.

    I don’t think we have any Welsh regulars here 🙂
    [My ancestors were on the other side of the Irish sea at the time – waiting for potatoes to be invented]

  27. ULTRAGOTHA on June 25, 2016 at 4:56 pm said:

    Don’t let me stop you, though I’m sure in another five minutes somebody will be explaining it was their ancestors got run over when the Saxons landed on the beach.

    That’s what’s the Matter with Britain.

    I’m going to claim that this whole sub-thread was simply a way of setting up a chance for you to make that joke. 😉

  28. Camestros Felapton: I don’t think we have any Welsh regulars here.

    We have had in the past. Maybe your saying that will bring them back! 🙂

  29. (18) Thanks for the linkage!

    Demons in anime: Anyone wanting to be both entertained and educated about them (and a lot of other Japanese mythology) should check out Hozuki no Reitetsu. The title character is the chief assistant to the most prominent king of the underworld, who is an idiotic buffoon in this interpretation. Pretty funny, but also the sort of show where the subtitles have footnotes.

  30. I don’t think we have any Welsh regulars here

    While she is not, I think, a citizen of Wales, I believe Heather Rose Jones is of Welsh ancestry. Or at least can fake it well.

  31. Oh, I have to thank Darren Garrison for his recommendtion of Kuro (Somato), a really fantastic comic about a girl and her horribly cute cat. And I mean horribly. Just finished the last chapter today.

    I tried the manga for My Hero Academia also, but found it to be another Naruto-clone and decided to skip it.

  32. Mike Glyer on June 25, 2016 at 4:51 pm said:
    ULTRAGOTHA: I might be a bit of an Anglo-Saxon partisan here.

    Don’t let me stop you, though I’m sure in another five minutes somebody will be explaining it was their ancestors got run over when the Saxons landed on the beach.

    Are we discussing early British history? Picts, or it didn’t happen.

  33. @standback

    I LOVED Too Like The Lightning. I’d consider the excerpt an excellent representation of the whole – if that didn’t click for you, I’d give it a pass. I wouldn’t say the book continues to use the sensayer as a focus or mouthpiece, but philosophy is a central focus in the book, and is discussed in many different ways And the unique construction of religion as something that has turned personal, intimate, secret, something you do in the privacy of your own mind but never reveal to anybody else, is a critical part of the worldbuilding and the book.

    I don’t mind the idea of religion as something personal and private, since this already matches the society I live in (though unlike the world of Too Like the Lightning, it’s not externally enforced), where people may or may not be religious, but usually don’t feel the need to proclaim their religious affiliation from the rooftops (and those who do are considered kind of weird).

    However, the excerpt of Too Like the Lightning still presumed a centrality of religion, oddly enough in a world where it’s supposed to be banned, that didn’t sit well with me. For example, my reaction to a kid that can bring toys to life wouldn’t be “OMG, a miracle. Must discuss with spiritual advisor”, “Wow, that’s kind of cool. Best keep him away from the Daleks, Stormtroopers and plush Cthulhus, though. Dinosaurs probably wouldn’t be a good idea either.”

    Too bad, because I actually liked Mycroft and his voice. I just hoped he’d do something more interesting than discuss the philosophical and theological implications of kids animating toys with sensesayers.

  34. Growing up in the Bible Belt, I, too, considered myself tortured by religion, and one of the reasons I loved science fiction is because it provided me with a vision of a future not ruled by superstition. The Star Trek universe lost me for good when Deep Space Nine started tossing out story lines treating religion as something other than baloney. It seemed to happen about the same time as the religious right began to flex its muscles, and it’s been a steady slide into religious nuttery ever since.

  35. I love the theological discourse in the World of Five Gods stories Lois McMaster Bujold writes. A very different take on religion.

  36. Camestros Felapton on June 25, 2016 at 5:17 pm said:

    I’m going to claim that this whole sub-thread was simply a way of setting up a chance for you to make that joke. ?

    Thank you.
    >takes bow<

  37. There’s Rastas in “Neuromancer”! I and I remember them, mon.

    And it is a delightful thing to realize that Lady Trent’s British/Irish expy has different sects of Judaism expy that disagree. There are native religions, and an obvious Islam expy. I don’t know if a lot of readers of the book ever twig to the main character’s religion NOT being a Christian expy, though — even though the houses of worship are called Temples.

    Harry Turtledove of course has a lot of Jewish influence or outright Jewishness in many of his books. “The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump” has a Jewish main character, and other characters of every religion, incl. pagan ones. And vampires run from Fgnef bs Qnivq rira orggre guna sebz pebffrf. He also knows from Greek Orthodox.

    If a book set in Israel or Judah before the Babylonian Captivity has a lot of messiah talk, you know it was written by an Evangelical. Feh, I say. FEH. Meshuggenah. They need to be sacrificing animals at the Temple and dissing Asherah and Baal worshipers. A lot of the dualistic thinking in all the Abrahamic religions came from Zoroastrianism.

    The people of Pern were deliberately atheist from the beginning, all of ’em. They didn’t bring any religious stuff with them. The later folks didn’t have the technology, but the Teaching Songs meant everyone knew they’d come there from elsewhere and used to have high-tech… and that only they could (try) to save themselves. They literally had no concept of religion.

    Babylon 5, though written by an atheist, treated religions both human and alien as important. And all the Earth religions were still there.

    @K8: The little-known downside of being a public librarian; you have to read crap too. The Amish romances are particularly stupid since they’re written by evangelicals who have weird ideas about and little knowledge of real Amish. Like, they never mention the high rate of congenital genetic birth defects from all the inbreeding.

    @Steve Wright: A noble effort on your behalf, and on behalf of your fellow citizens who aren’t white or able-bodied.

    @AYKBob: Oo-er, I’ve come to the same conclusions as Orwell! In that both of us could see the bleedin’ obvious. He just writed gooder. Doubleplus good.

    Chuck Tingle is nothing if not topical.

  38. Roger Zelazny
    “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”
    This Immortal
    Creatures of Light and Darkness
    A Night in the Lonesome October
    Lord of Light
    Eye of Cat
    Deus Irae

    to name a few. Just sayin’.

  39. Went to see what the Elk were saying about the Aaron vs. VD GoT and warfare debate and was compelled to eyerolling at how in their universe GRRM is to blame for all of the things they find wrong with this season of the HBO adaptation, as if the series were actually depicting the way battles and such will take place in the unpublished novels TWoW and ADoS.

  40. @Petrea Mitchell

    Hoozuki no Reitetsu also has a bit of a crossover with Christian hell later on as well. It is also very, very funny if you like that kind of thing.

  41. On religion:
    Has anyone mention Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow” & “Children of God”? I really enjoyed them but haven’t re-read in years.

  42. @lurkertype – Yep! On the bright side, reading widely sometimes leads to some very pleasant surprises. But, when it doesn’t, the fact that I excel at selective skimming gets me through a lot of bad books.

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