Pixel Scroll 12/8/16 Let It Scroll, Let It Scroll, Let It Scroll

(1) X-WING. Hollywood decorating the neighborhood for the premiere of Rogue One. Robert Kerr’s photo shows a prop now on display curbside near the theater.

photo-by-robert-kerr-resized_20161208_170203-01

Yahoo! Movies ran a series of photos taken while the fighter was being hauled into position.

Star Wars has definitely landed in Hollywood.

Preparations for Saturday’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiere have already seen some big road closures on Hollywood Blvd. — and on Tuesday, an X-Wing was spotted in the area where the stars of the film will gather in a few days.

Pictures quickly spread on social media, as apparently keeping an X-Wing secret is even trickier than keeping plans for the Death Star under wraps.

The red-carpet premiere itself also prompted major road closures in Hollywood, with the X-Wing now clogging streets up further. Road closures will last until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

(2) JAM ON MARS. Will Curiosity need Tommy John surgery? Seeker says “Curiosity’s Mars Drill Is Jammed”.

The Mars rover’s robotic arm-mounted drill appears to have malfunctioned and NASA has instructed the rover to hang tight while they find a solution.

Having your drill break down while you’re millions of miles from the nearest hardware store would be a bummer, but that is exactly what’s happened to NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity.

The rover, which is currently located at the lower slopes of the 3.4-mile-high Mount Sharp (officially known as Aeolis Mons), was supposed to carry out a drilling operation on a geologically interesting location on Dec. 1 when mission controllers got word that Curiosity was unable to complete its commands. Early indications show that the rover detected a fault with the “drill feed” mechanism that lowers the drill piece to the rocky sample and aborted the operation.

(3) AT HOME. The Chicago Reader visited a  popular sf author in her new (since 2012) neighborhood — “Mary Robinette Kowal makes puppets and writes in a 1913 building in the Ukranian Village”.

A fire is roaring in the fireplace and sprays of bright red winterberry adorn a vase on the deco mantel. The scent of hot cider wafts through the air. What Victorian-era storybook scene have I stepped into on this chilly, gray day in late November? It’s the home of Hugo Award–winning author, audiobook narrator, and professional puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal, a spacious and stately 1913 apartment in Ukrainian Village that she shares with her winemaker husband, Robert, and their two cats.

 

(4) RETURN OF RUTLAND WEEKEND TV. The Guardian ran this feature in August — “Ex-Python Eric Idle and Brian Cox to take on The Entire Universe for the BBC”. But now the BBC broadcast date is nearing.

Written by Idle, the one-hour show will feature the return of Rutland Weekend Television, the haphazard station depicted in Idle’s sketch show of the same name during the 1970s.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, The Entire Universe will feature an “explosion of comedy, music and dance” and will air on BBC2.

Davis plays The Big Bang and comedian Fielding is Einstein, while Game of Thrones actor Hannah Waddingham tackles time, and Robin Ince attempts to keep order.

Idle has written songs for the Christmas special, which will be choreographed by Arlene Phillips and combine “fascinating facts about the birth of the universe with larger-than-life comedy characters”.

Cox finds himself in a major musical at Rutland Weekend Television, after thinking he is booked to give a lecture.

The program will be broadcast in Britain on BBC2 on December 26.

(5) DO JAMES DAVIS NICOLL’S HOMEWORK. He’s lining up books to review in 2017, and feels there’s one writer demographic that requires more of his attention:

Don’t often tick the Other/Genderqueer/Non-Binary box in my site’s review gender fields. Can change that. What authors should I consider?

He emailed me the link asking, “Do the F770 people have suggestions?”

(6) HINES BENEFIT AUCTION #12. The twelfth of Jim C. Hines’ 24 Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auctions is for the four-book Twixt series from Dawn Metcalf.

Today’s auction is for a signed set of all four TWIXT books. But wait – there’s more! Metcalf also has a pile of “own voices” and books she’s offered to donate to a local shelter and/or children’s hospital in your name. The higher the bidding, the more books she’ll donate!

  • $25: Two books
  • $35: Three books
  • $45: Four books
  • $60: Five books
  • $75: Six books

About Book One: INDELIBLE:

Some things are permanent. Indelible. And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room-right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world-a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same. Now Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one-his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future … and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies … THE TWIXT!

(7) TINGLE’S SATIRICAL NEWS SITE. Chuck Tingle harpoons the “alt-right” with his most feared weapon – laughter — at a new website, Buttbart. At the bottom of the home page are links for donating to the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Billings Public Library Foundation

READER POLL: What is real?

We asked our readers if reality was a constantly shifting web of cosmic planes, blinking in and out of exhistence depending on our location in spacetime.

YES: %87

NO: %2

K’GULH-TUB KA: %11

(8) GLENN OBIT. Mercury astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn (1921-2016) died December 8 reports SF News Site.

Glenn was the last surviving member of the Mercury 7 astronauts and the first American to orbit the Earth, flying on the third Mercury mission on February 20, 1962 aboard Friendship 7. Following his flight and status as a national hero, Glenn was grounded by President Kennedy and eventually became a Senator from Ohio and ran unsuccessfully for President. The oldest of the Mercury astronauts, he flew a second time in 1998 about the space shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest man to fly in space.

CNN’s obituary recounted the highlights of his 1962 mission:

….Glenn recalled in a Life magazine article a strange phenomenon that occurred during the mission: “There, spread out as far as I could see were literally thousands of tiny luminous objects that glowed in the black sky like fireflies. I was riding slowly through them, and the sensation was like walking backwards through a pasture where someone had waved a wand and made all the fireflies stop right where they were and glow steadily.”

The flight also featured a glitch that contributed to Glenn’s reputation for being cool under fire.

Because of an indicator light showing that the Mercury capsule’s heat shield was partly detached, mission controllers decided to bring Glenn home early and told him not to jettison his aft retro rockets, which allowed him to maneuver the craft in space. Because the retropack was strapped to the heat shield, it was thought it would provide an extra measure of security.

It would later be learned that the heat shield wasn’t damaged, but the fiery re-entry was made more spectacular by the scorching retropack in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Glenn’s first words when he stepped aboard the deck of the USS Noa were, “Boy, that was a real fireball of a ride!”

…More than 20 years after their historic missions, the team was immortalized in the 1983 movie “The Right Stuff.” Glenn — portrayed by Ed Harris — didn’t care much for the film, saying, “I thought it was dramatic enough without Hollywood doing its number on it.”

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRLS

  • Born December 8, 1953 – Kim Basinger, Batman’s Vicki Vale.
  • Born December 8, 1964 – Teri Hatcher, Lois and Clark’s Lois Lane.

(10) TA-POCKETA-POCKETA

  • Born December 8, 1894 – James Thurber

(11) A GRAIL OF A TALE. A dinosaur tail was discovered trapped in amber in Myanmar.

The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists.

Xing Lida, a Chinese paleontologist found the specimen, the size of a dried apricot, at an amber market in northern Myanmar near the Chinese border.

The remarkable piece was destined to end up as a curiosity or piece of jewelry, with Burmese traders believing a plant fragment was trapped inside.

“I realized that the content was a vertebrate, probably theropod, rather than any plant,” Xing told CNN.

“I was not sure that (the trader) really understood how important this specimen was, but he did not raise the price.”

(12) POP CULTURE COINCIDENCE. Reuters reports a “Space oddity as Dr David Bowie treats ‘starman’ Buzz Aldrin in New Zealand hospital”.

In what can only be described as a space oddity, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is being cared for in a New Zealand hospital by Dr David Bowie after being evacuated from the South Pole.

In a truly remarkable coincidence, Aldrin’s doctor shares the name of the late British singer whose greatest hits included songs such as “Starman” and others about space travel that could easily have been penned for the great American astronaut.

(13) FANTASTIC FICTION AT KGB. Reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Livia Llewellyn and Sarah Pinsker on December 21 on Wednesday, December 21 at the KGB Bar in New York. Event starts at 7 p.m. Details at the linked post.

Livia Llewellyn is a writer of dark fantasy, horror, and erotica, whose short fiction has appeared in over forty anthologies and magazines and has been reprinted in multiple best-of anthologies, including The Best Horror of the Year series, Years Best Weird Fiction, and The Mammoth Book of Best Erotica. Her first collection, Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & Other Horrors received two Shirley Jackson Award nominations, for Best Collection, and for Best Novelette (for “Omphalos”). Her story “Furnace” received a 2013 Shirley Jackson Award nomination for Best Short Story. Her second collection, Furnace was published this year.

Sarah Pinsker is the author of the Nebula Award winning novelette “Our Lady of the Open Road” and the Sturgeon Award winning “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind.” Her fiction has appeared in magazines including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, among others, and numerous anthologies and year’s bests. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife, dog, and a yard full of sentient vines.

(14) THE WORK THAT STORIES DO. Foz Meadows’ well-written piece “Unempathic Bipeds of Failure: The Relationship Between Stories and Politics” found a home at Black Gate:

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need stories to act as emotional dry-runs for caring about different types of people, because our empathy would already natively extend to everyone. But we don’t live in that world; because if we did, somewhat paradoxically, we’d have less urgent need of its empathy, as its unequivocal presence would make it much harder for us to discriminate in the first place.

Which is precisely why stories matter; why they’ve always mattered, and will continue to matter for as long as our species exists. Stories can teach us the empathy we otherwise lack, or whose development is railroaded by context, and yeah, it’s frustrating to think that another person can’t just look at you, accept what you are, and think, human, different to me in some respects but fundamentally as whole and as worthy of love, protection and basic rights as I am, but you’ve got to understand: we’re a bunch of bipedal mammals with delusions of morality, a concept we invented and which we perpetuate through culture and manners, faith and history and memory – which is to say, through stories, which change as we change (though we don’t always like to admit that part), and in that context, the value of the impossible – of SFF as a genre – is that it gives us those things in imaginary settings, takes us far enough out of the present that we can view them at a more objective remove than real life ever allows, and so get a better handle on them than our immediate biases might otherwise permit…

And so I think about the UKIP supporter who empathized with a fictional refugee [in Dragon Age 2] but voted to dehumanize real ones; about the millions of people who grew up on stories about the evils of Nazism, but now turn a blind eye to swastikas being graffitied in the wake of Trump’s election; of Puppies both Sad and Rabid who contend that the presence of politics in genre is a leftist conspiracy while blatantly pushing what even they call a political agenda; about fake news creators and the Ministry of Truth; about every f***ing dystopian novel whose evocation by name feels simultaneously on the nose and frighteningly apropos right now, because we shouldn’t have to cite The Handmaid’s Tale to explain why Mike Pence and Steve Bannon (to say nothing of Trump’s infamous comments) are collectively terrifying, and yet see above re: unempathic bipeds of failure, forever and always; and yet

(15) ORANGE CONE BY THE ROADSIDE. The discussion of Meadows’ main points, however, was drowned out by the reaction to several lines in her closing:

For the past few years, the Sad and Rabid Puppies – guided by an actual neo-Nazi – have campaigned against what they perceive as the recent politicization of SFF as a genre, as though it’s humanly possible to write a story involving people that doesn’t have a political dimension; as though “political narrative” means “I disagreed with the premise or content, which makes it Wrong” and not “a narrative which contains and was written by people.”

Vox Day reacted in a post titled “Please to remove the libel”:

I have written to John O’Neill, my former editor at Black Gate, asking him to remove this false, malicious, and materially damaging libel directed at me, and by extension, the Sad and Rabid Puppies. As I was a long-time contributor to Black Gate, Mr. O’Neill knows perfectly well that I am neither a neo-Nazi nor a National Socialist, I have never been a neo-Nazi or a National Socialist, I do not belong to, or subscribe to the tenets of, the German National Socialist Workers Party or any subsequent facsimile, and I do not appreciate the libelous attempts of Ms Meadows, to publicly and falsely assert that I am “an actual neo-Nazi”.

Vox Popoli commenters spent the day conspicuously scavenging the web for Meadows’ personal and financial details and lodging their finds as comments on Day’s post. Meadows Twitter stream also has been haunted by people unsuccessfuly trying to intimidate the author by sounding as if there could be ominous consequences.

Day made several updates to his post, one saying a resolution was in process.

UPDATE: As I expected, John was very reasonable about it and the matter is being resolved. Thanks for your support, everyone.

But in the hours since, Meadows’ text has remained unchanged nor has O’Neill added any comment.

(16) INVASION. In a New York Times article “California Today: Booksellers See a Threat in New Law”, the A.C.L.U. has an opinion.

A new law going into effect next month mandates that anyone selling a signed book for more than $5 must vouch for the autograph’s authenticity. That includes, among other things, identifying the previous owner.

“If you visit my bookstore to trade in that copy of ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ you picked up at a book signing, I’ll need to take down your name and address and then provide it to whoever happens to buy the book from me,” said Scott Brown, who runs Eureka Books in Eureka.

The law was designed to protect consumers from the booming trade in fake collectibles. But it is written so loosely that some worry it might drag booksellers down.

“I can understand why booksellers are concerned,” said Michael Risher, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U. of Northern California. “The law is an invasion into privacy and should be amended.”

The legislation began with an effort by State Representative Ling Ling Chang to broaden a 1992 law about sports memorabilia. She joined forces with Mark Hamill, the “Star Wars” actor who kept seeing signed posters that were fake. Booksellers say they didn’t realize they were vulnerable until after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure in September.

Ms. Chang, who was unavailable for comment, has published on her Facebook page a statement that both “the letter and spirit of the law” do not apply to booksellers. Her reasoning is that the law is aimed at “dealers,” who are mostly in the business of selling signed collectibles. Since booksellers sell all kinds of books, many of them unsigned, Ms. Chang argues that leaves them off the hook.

But some booksellers worry that is not true….

(17) RATS! New Zealand’s 2017 national sf convention has opened a writing competition.

In our short story competition, you have the opportunity to channel your inner rodent, or world build a mischief of rats… Write us a short story which, in honour of our Ghost of Honour, Orville, includes a reference to a rat.

The competition is held in association with SpecFicNZ, who are generously contributing prizes, and judged by Guest of Honour Seanan McGuire. Get scratching!

We’re also running a drabble competition – 100 words of fiction based around a word you invented. If you’re new to writing, this could be a great place to start.

Find out more at www.lexicon.cons.nz/comps.php. Other competitions will be announced shortly; artists, filkers, and cosplayers, stay tuned.

(18) DEAL US IN. Tor.com’s Natalie Zutter has good news for Cards Against Humanity fans: “Patrick Rothfuss and Cards Against Humanity Release Special Sci-Fi Pack”.

For $5, this pack of 30 cards “poking fun at the Sci-Fi genre” (in Rothfuss’ words) will let you throw down the geekiest cards in your next game of CAH. All proceeds from the first two weeks of sales will go to Worldbuilders, Rothfuss’ nonprofit. What’s more, Rothfuss says, they’ll double that donation before passing it along to Heifer International, the organization that Worldbuilders supports.

Here’s everyone who contributed to the cards!

  • Delilah S. Dawson
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Jim C. Hines
  • Myke Cole
  • Martha Wells
  • Catherynne M. Valente
  • Patrick Rothfuss

[Thanks to JJ, Xtifr, Bonnie McDaniel, Cat Eldridge, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Redheadedfemme. (Yes, Bonnie, I held over a few you suggested last year.)]

115 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/8/16 Let It Scroll, Let It Scroll, Let It Scroll

  1. John Glenn actually set the record for oldest human in space on both his flights. At the time of his 1962 flight, he was older than Yuri Gagarin, Alan B. Shepard, Gherman Titov, and Gus Grissom, all of whom preceded him. At the time of the 1998 flight, he was older than the previous record holder, Story Musgrave.

  2. Clack wins the Cognitive Dissonance Award for 2016. Congratulations, man. Seriously, it’s been a very competitive year with an amazing group of mental athletes, but you can say with confidence “I can fit multiple contradictory beliefs into my brain.”

    Kudos. I wish the award came with a fee CAT scan, but alas, it is unfunded.

  3. (11) A GRAIL OF A TALE. – And it’s feathered! FFS, can we start getting books and toys and movies with feathered dinosaurs now please?

    (15) ORANGE CONE BY THE ROADSIDE. – Riiiight. If only such a desire for precision – however pointless – existed in all his other interactions

    “Are you now or have you ever been fifth?”

    “Why, yes!”

  4. @16: I don’t know David Streitfeld, but now I know to avoid his work; either he’s trying to make heat without light, or he believes secondary sources (booksellers, the ACLU) over the primary source (the text of the law he links to), which says (as it said during our discussions) that a dealer is someone who’s primarily dealing collectibles. I would be interested to see what changes the ACLU proposes that would make the law any less liable to abuse.

  5. latest reading: Adrian Tchaikovsky, Children of Time. I picked this up because it won this year’s Clarke award. It takes a very long time to get going, and requires the reader to swallow at least six impossible things before then (e.g., an Uplift virus, said virus tuned for monkeys but working on spiders, a ship that keeps half a million corpsicles mostly revivable for ~3 millennia despite being built by Earth in the process of dying for the last time, …) and the impossibilities and implausibilities pile up from there. The most plausible part of the story is the number of bad decisions, mostly by commanders; the most implausible part is the ending, hayrff lbh oryvrir gung Gur Fgbar Gung Arire Pnzr Qbja vf zber cynhfvoyr guna Fgnaq ba Mnamvone (be fbzr rira zber crffvzvfgvp Oehaare). (Non-spoiler version: there’s a lot of authorial dice-loading.) That being said, the author does manage to keep the plot going instead of letting it sag in the middle (although this is helped by the story being a number of snapshots rather than one long view), and does an interesting portrayal of non-mammalian intelligences developing a society (complete with gender issues that may be offputting).

  6. @14 – The left’s reaction to a free and fair election has been unbelievable.

    Suggestion: Write down the 5 doomsday things that you think will happen in the USA or the UK over between now and December 31, 2017. Put the paper in a safe place. Write a note on your new calendar to look at your predictions at the end of next year.

    Then shake your head next year about how unshackled from reality you became.

  7. Nothing much to say here, except hello.

    Oh, and how many words is “Every Day Is The Full Moon” in the latest Lightspeed? Guess I’ll find out when it comes online next week. I cared about the supernatural teenage girls!! A lot! “The Venus Effect” is pretty good too; the parts are all pomo and kinda trite, but the whole is much better. Sticks the last line so good.

  8. (15) ORANGE CONE BY THE ROADSIDE. Despicable reactions from Beale’s lackeys, as usual.

    SF Reading: I finished the audiobook of Every Heart a Doorway (spelt right, this time) and it was very good – I recommend it! The audiobook narrator was quite good. I enjoyed the world building and characters, especially, and also the plot; it was a well-rounded story. It made a great stand-alone, but I see there’s a, er, prequel coming out in 2017 – Down Among the Sticks and Bones. The description for that doesn’t grab me; I’d’ve preferred a sequel or related novel, maybe at the other school mentioned. Still, I enjoyed the first and will hope for an audiobook of the second. BTW, this was my first Seanan McGuire book. I may try another some day. 😉

  9. (7) TINGLE’S SATIRICAL NEWS SITE
    Love is real!

    (8) GLENN OBIT. [Not your typo this time, but I’ve appertained myself a vintage cider all the same.]
    The oldest of the Mercury astronauts, he flew a second time in 1998 aboutaboard the space shuttle Discovery…

    (12) POP CULTURE COINCIDENCE.
    Yes, we’ve had a chuckle about it.

  10. @airboy – Would simply saying “Thanks, Trump!” bitterly when anything goes wrong be more in keeping with the great decorum shown by the right during the previous president’s term?

  11. Ursula:

    I think you also have to express dire concern that he’ll declare martial law and annex Texas during routine military exercises.

  12. airboy on December 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm said:
    @14 – The left’s reaction to a free and fair election has been unbelievable.

    Suggestion: Write down the 5 doomsday things that you think will happen in the USA or the UK over between now and December 31, 2017.

    Ok.
    1. The President will outlaw gun ownership
    2. Governnent spending will cause huge inflation on Zimbabwe like levels
    3. The President will institute sharia law in the USA to replace the constitution
    Just three things promised by conservatives with regard to Obama, which apparently he is niw going to have to do in a few weeks!

    Oh but you meant Trump. Um ok.
    1. Run a corrupt government in which he places hus personal business interests ahead of national interests.
    2. Frequently attack oridnary citizens who dare to criticize him
    3. Attack US business out of spite damaging its share price
    4. Promote sexual assault, racism and hatred
    Oh I wonder if my predictions will come true…

  13. “@14 – The left’s reaction to a free and fair election has been unbelievable.”

    Where the loser won with 2.5 million votes less.

  14. airboy: The left’s reaction to a free and fair election has been unbelievable.

    Sure, if the definition of the word “fair” ignores all the voter suppression laws and contortions of gerrymandering that have been instituted by the Republicans in the last 16+ years.

    Except that it doesn’t.

  15. @ Camestros Felapton
    Bingo! (As usual)

    @MikeGlyer
    Many thanks for the link to Meadows’ piece. As to the orange cone, how typical that some people who dislike Meadows’ message have no response other than to complain about 5 words out of several hundred. Thinking back, I tried to identify authors/works that opened my eyes to ways of being of which I’d been ignorant. I started reading SF as a feminist and civil rights supporter (as far as one could be so at about age 10), so many books I read merely reassured me that I wasn’t bonkers, which was important in itself. But I have to point to the novels of Elizabeth A. Lynn as the first I read to treat LGBT people as just people. She also offered some very interesting ideas about social structures and gender equality. Also, Joanna Russ and The Female Man have a special place in my heart for thoroughly blowing my mind through literary skill and content.

  16. Oops, also meant to ask Filers, as most of you are so much more widely read than I, what authors/works you would cite as most eye-opening for you?

  17. @airboy: well, we’ve already had the biggest crash in history with our currency so I’d rather not make 5 more suggestions for how best to screw over the British people, thanks.

    Edit: oh yeah and the Snoopers’ Charter got through. So welcome to Britain, the most surveilled country in the fucking world!

  18. Slightly amazingly for 2016, Kirk Douglas is alive and celebrating his 100th birthday today.
    I don’t think he was in too many SFnal movies, but Saturn 3 and the 50s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea adaption come to mind. (Hmmm, not sure I’ve seen that, might have to track it down)

    But mostly, he is Spartacus.

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I’ve just noticed that my favorite story from Clockwork Phoenix 5 – The Souls of Horses by Beth Cato – can be read for free online. I’m not sure how to describe it, but US Civil War with clockwork-punk horses instilled with real horse souls saved from the battlefield might be a starter.

  19. @ Msb

    Here’s a few books that blew me away:

    SF
    Carve the Sky – Alexander Jablokov
    Aristoi – Walter Jon Williams
    Lady of Mazes – Karl Schroeder
    Starbridge Chronicles (trilogy) – Paul Park

    Fantasy
    Song for the Basilisk – Patricia McKillip
    Moonwise – Greer Ilene Gilman
    King of Elfland’s Daughter – Lord Dunsany
    Little, Big – John Crowley

  20. The Blackgate story: I really wish that they had named the site Whitegate so that the page design would actually be readable.

  21. I think you also have to express dire concern that he’ll declare martial law and annex Texas during routine military exercises.

    Also, that he intends to nuke Charleston. (A theory made up, no doubt, by someone who had just watched a rerun of Special Bulletin.)

  22. But mostly, he is Spartacus.

    No, I am Spartacus.

    Oops, also meant to ask Filers, as most of you are so much more widely read than I, what authors/works you would cite as most eye-opening for you?

    I believe my biggest (Keanu Reeves) Woah! (/Keanu Reeves) book is Blindsight by Peter Watts.

  23. I may be mistaken, but my impression is that Msb was asking about works which were eye-opening in the sense of awareness and understanding of social issues, such as feminism and the perspectives of LGBTQIA persons.

  24. Ah. I read the short “oops” post but not the one above it to provide context.

  25. @ Msb, JJ, and Darren –

    I did the same thing as Darren. I do have some responses for Msb, but I have to work on it a bit.

  26. @Darren re Blackgate. Do you use the plonk script? There is one using the same Stylish tool that makes BlackGate much more readable. I think I got the link for it here originally…

  27. @Darren Garrison

    There’s a Black Gate script for Stylish that renders the site readable. It’s saved my eyes, for sure.

    @Mike

    Thank you! That’s a nice surprise.

    @airboy

    As has already been pointed out, the voter suppression of minorities and Clinton’s 2.6 million (and counting) popular vote win means the election was neither “free” nor “fair.” It happened. That’s all. And given the unqualified (Ben Carson for HUD secretary? Really?) and extreme (Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn? Really?) (not to mention the Carls Jr guy who doesn’t believe in the minimum wage and wants to replace workers with robots–can’t remember his name offhand–for Labor Secretary) people President Littlehands is tapping for his Cabinet…why don’t you draw the obvious conclusions?

    EDIT: @emgrasso

    Heh! Typed too long. But I second the script. It makes the site look far better.

  28. (16) Once again, with the usual disclaimers (I am not license to practice in California; this is a blog comment and not intended as legal advice), the statute does not apply to book sellers unless they are “principally” selling autographed books. See for yourself:

    “Dealer” means a person who is principally in the business of selling or offering for sale collectibles in or from this state, exclusively or nonexclusively, or a person who by his or her occupation holds himself or herself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to collectibles, or to whom that knowledge or skill may be attributed by his or her employment of an agent or other intermediary that by his or her occupation holds himself or herself out as having that knowledge or skill. “Dealer” includes an auctioneer who sells collectibles at a public auction, and also includes persons who are consignors or representatives or agents of auctioneers. “Dealer” includes a person engaged in a mail order, telephone order, online, or cable television business for the sale of collectibles.

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1570

  29. @Bonnie McDaniel: Wow, thanks for the Black Gate script. The difference is like night and day, er I mean day and night! It does a lot more than I need, but it’s easier to use it as is than tinker. 😉 (I forgot I’d installed Stylish in Safari at some point.)

  30. (16) A friend went to a local used bookstore to sell some books so he could over-spend on gifts for his new girlfriend. The bookstore is no longer buying signed books because of the new law.

  31. @airboy: I predict that a state legislature will pass blatantly unconstitutional legislation in the hopes that a packed SCOTUS will recall the glory days of Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. Yes, I know you don’t think it’s involuntary servitude; try telling us that after you’ve taken Tiresias’s place.

  32. Some SFF works which were eye-opening to me in the sense of awareness and understanding of social issues, in rough order of how much my mind was blown (most mindblowing first) (and bearing in mind that mindblowingness is very much related to the age at which I read them):

    The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
    The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman
    Slow River by Nicola Griffith
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    The Female Man by Joanna Russ
    Fire Logic (and sequels) by Laurie J. Marks
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    The Maerlande Chronicles by Elisabeth Vonarburg
    Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
    The Habitation of the Blessed and The Folded World, by Catherynne M. Valente
    Machine by Jennifer Pelland

  33. To be fair, when Reagan was elected in 1980, lots of my friends and I predicted he’d blow up the world, open concentration camps for LGBT people, and forbid teaching of evolution. Like Trump, he came from the entertainment business, and, also like Trump, he was a serial liar. (Remember his claim that most air pollution is caused by trees? Protesters put signs saying “stop me before I kill again” around all the trees near the place he spoke next.)

    It’s possible that he’ll do a lot of damage–the worst-case scenarios do look pretty terrible–but that’s a long way from it being a certainty. More likely, I think, is that he ends up being a Republican Jimmy Carter, who spends most of his time fighting with his own party and ends up getting little or nothing done except for tanking the economy. Or (judging from his appointments so far) a Warren Harding, remembered for corruption and inaction more than anything else.

    If he starts purging the top ranks of the armed forces, or if he defies court rulings he doesn’t like in the confidence that Congress won’t impeach him, or if, in the wake of some disaster, he asks Congress to give him dictatorial powers, then we’ll have something big to worry about. For now, there’s nothing to do but wait and see.

  34. Adding to the above, some more SFF works which were eye-opening to me in the sense of awareness and understanding of social issues, this time in no particular order:

    Houston, Houston, Do You Read? by James Tiptree Jr.
    1984 by George Orwell
    Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler
    Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge
    City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
    Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
    The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
    Ancillary Justice (and sequels) by Ann Leckie
    The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner
    The Brides of Rollrock Island (AKA Sea Hearts) by Margo Lanagan
    The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
    The Fifth Season (and the sequels thus far) by N. K. Jemisin
    Bold As Love (and sequels) by Gwyneth Jones
    The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

  35. Shouldn’t the left be afraid that Trump is going to take away all of our books? Kinda the lefty version of Clinton is going to take away all of our guns!

  36. You know, since it bothers him so much, any reference to Teddy should be automatically prefixed with ‘Neo-Nazi’.

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