Pixel Scroll 2/23/17 We Scroll Not Because It Is Easy, But Because It Is Hard

(1) NAME THAT TRILOGY. The game show where you figure out the title of the third movie based on the first two! And who is our contestant today, George?

(2) NUANCES OF LESTER DENT. Cat Rambo’s new Doc Savage post — “Reading Doc Savage: The Spook Legion”.

Hideous and amazing! Let us begin. Leo does, of course, send off the telegraph and soon after Doc Savage calls on the phone. He points out certain subtleties we might have missed earlier:

The mysterious circumstances surrounding the appearance of the message then came out. Dr. Savage heard it through without comment then advised, “There is probably no A. N. Onymous listed in your directory.”

Leo Bell looked in the directory.

“No,” he said. “There is not.”

“The name was the result of a trick writing of the word ‘anonymous,’” Doc pointed out. “The dictionary defines an anonymous work as one of unknown authorship, which seems to fit in this case.”

Lemony Snickett has nothing on Lester Dent. Leo and the night manager discuss the mysterious telegram and then vanish from the book, never to be seen again.

(3) THEY’RE BLACK, AREN’T THEY? Blastr says “We’re finally going to find out what black holes look like. Sort of.”

We think we know what black holes look like. NASA renderings and sci-fi special effects artists usually imagine the eerie glowing ring of an event horizon around what appears to be an impenetrable dark chasm. It happens that they aren’t so far off from the truth — and a groundbreaking (sky-breaking?) telescope is about to prove it.

Supermassive black holes have long been suspected to lurk at the center of every galaxy, including ours. These mysterious phenomena were initially predicted by Einstein’s Theory of Gravity over a hundred years ago. Don’t get any time-travel ideas yet, but their gravitational power is intense enough to warp space-time. Activity that occurs at the edge of one of these dark leviathans can actually ripple through the entire galaxy it resides in. Despite their awe-inspiring power that has fueled pages and pages of brilliant science fiction and even an iconic Muse song, no one has actually ever seen one.

(4) SAVING TED’S HOME. Ted White’s appeal “Save My House” has funded. He asked for $15,000, and within two days 352 donors have given $17,948.

(5) LAWLESS AND DISORDERLY. “Stories ripped from the headlines” as it’s famously said about one TV franchise. Amanda Bressler tells readers of the HWA Blog how to profit from this strategy in her post “Horror in the Headlines: Using the News for Novel Ideas”.

Multiple points of view While good journalism tries to cover a story in a balanced way, you really never get the whole picture. Everyone involved in a tragedy or mysterious event will have a slightly different version of what happened. Fiction gives authors the ability to explore and create those various angles through multiple points of view. School shooting novels especially use this tactic as these encounters are so personal—the gunman, the victims, the bystanders are the friends, teachers, siblings, and classmates with whom there is history and relationships. Allowing for many first person accounts gives a fuller picture of this tangled web of high school connections and emotions that culminate in a horrific and terrifying event.

The book Violent Ends takes a unique approach to multiple points of view by giving 17 YA authors one chapter each to write from the perspective of a student in a high school that has been taken hostage by a fellow classmate. It achieves an even more complex study into what would drive a person to such violence, and the variety of styles throughout the book make for a more interesting reading experience.

(6) WHO KNEW? The President of SFWA may be mighty but she is not in charge of your Wikipedia entry.

(7) ODDS AGAINST. Meanwhile, a former SFWA President swats another fly – “Reminder: There’s No Such Thing as an Automatic Award Nomination”.

Over at Inverse, writer Ryan Britt is annoyed that two of his favorite science fiction books of the year, Death’s End by Cixin Liu, and Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey, are not on the Nebula list of nominees for Best Novel. His argument for both basically boils down to they’re both amazing so they should be obvious nominees, obviously, which to be fair is the same general argument anyone makes when they complain about something they love getting what they perceive to be a snub for whatever award they think the thing the love should be up for….

…It’s pretty much 100% certain this didn’t happen here; instead, people just voted for the novels they preferred, and preferred other books.

But Death’s End and Babylon’s Ashes were good books! Indeed they were. But there were five Best Novel slots available on this year’s Nebula ballot and dozens of SF/F novels (at least!) of sufficient quality to make the ballot. The two novels that Britt points out are only a couple of the novels that could have been on the ballot, from the perspective of quality, but aren’t. There are — thankfully — always more good SF/F novels in a year than may fit on a Nebula ballot.

And not just novels but novellas, novelettes, short stories, YA novels and screenplays, those being categories that SFWA awards annually. I mean, let me use me as an example: My novella The Dispatcher was eligible for the Novella category this year. It was very well reviewed, had a huge audience, and is already up for other awards. I’m a well-known and (mostly) liked science fiction writer, and former president of SFWA, so I’m also familiar to the folks who nominate for the Nebula. The Dispatcher should be a shoo-in for a nomination, yes? Yes! I say yes! A thousand times!

(8) THE FLY STRIKES BACK. Swatted is just a metaphor, of course, for while people were reading Scalzi’s fine-tuned mocking, his target, Ryan Britt, was busily (buzzily?) typing a reaction piece, “Science Fiction Awards are Basically Bullshit”. But he writes as if he suffered an actual rather than metaphorical concussion. Today, for a brief and shining moment, Britt seemed to understand how works get shortlisted for the Nebula, something he misstated in Tuesday’s post (“Two Huge Sci-Fi Novels Were Snubbed by the Nebula Awards”) —

In order for something to make it on the ballot of the Nebulas, it has to be nominated by members or associate members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. This is a little better than the Hugo nominating process, which is loose enough to create loopholes that let all sorts of bigoted groups to hijack the process. But still, the non-insider fan gets bamboozled: SFWA ignores great science fiction writing published outside of the places they usual look. The Nebulas and Hugos will nominate books about fantasy worlds and spaceships, but when the technological sci-fi speculation gets closer to home, those types of books tend to be overlooked. And this doesn’t mean they aren’t finding really obscure, indie sci-fi authors. Just the opposite. Mainstream literary fiction — which is totally sci-fi — gets snubbed by the Nebulas and the Hugos completely.

Unfortunately, by the last paragraph he was again telling people the Nebula finalists are the product of a “nominating committee.” His syntax was pretty groggy, too —

This year, the Nebula Nominations have proven again that they’re nominating committee is only seeing half the picture. With two huge science fiction novels nowhere on the list — Death’s End and Babylon’s Ashes — it feels like a good time for fans can start looking elsewhere for good science fiction book recommendations.

(9) USE YOUR PLACE AT THE TABLE. What to do after you’ve been to the ISS: “After Making History In Space, Mae Jemison Works To Prime Future Scientists” at NPR.

On encouraging more women and minorities to enter math and science

I think that there are really important things that we have to do with students to get them to succeed in science, to go on and stay with careers. And that includes the idea of being exposed to something.

So if you know that those things exist, it makes it easier for you to get involved. For example, it helps to know what an engineer is. It helps to know what a biotechnician is, so you’re not afraid of it.

Then, it’s experience. When you do hands-on science, you learn to — you learn about electricity by wiring a flashlight. And then it’s expectation. And that expectation is, we should expect our kids to succeed and to achieve. Children live up or down to our expectations. And so, I always call it the three E’s: experience, expectation and exposure.

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • February 23, 1896 — Tootsie Roll introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

(11) YESTERDAY IN HISTORY

  • February 22, 1957  — Incredible Shrinking Man premieres.

(12) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian recommends the LOTR joke in today’s Brevity.

(13) A BOLD DEFENSE. In Kate Paulk’s Mad Genius Club post she never names the person she is standing up for.

So when a controversial figure’s book deal is suddenly canceled because of a manufactured furor (not even over the content of the lies used to create that furor because the publisher has printed and supported far worse from those who happen to have not had the howling mobs roused against them) it impacts all of us readers and authors.

For the record, I don’t give a flying fuck what that – or any other author – does in privacy with consenting partners. Even if I would be squicked to high heaven by the details if anyone was crass enough to tell the world. I don’t care what he – or anyone else – believes as long as it’s not being shoved down my throat and nobody is being damaged by it. If I don’t like the author’s behavior or politics I don’t have to buy their books and I certainly don’t have to read them. I am sufficiently mature that I do not see the need for a legion of sensitivity readers to take their works and massage them into bland, tasteless pap.

What I care about is that someone who has – objectively – done not one damn thing wrong is the subject of a coordinated effort to not merely silence him, but disappear him. I’ve seen this happen in the past. It happened to Larry Correia. To Brad Torgersen. I didn’t get the full force of it last year, but instead got the cold shoulder of people doing their best to pretend I’d already been disappeared

(14) WRITERS GUILD AWARDS. SciFi4Me points out that Arrival hasn’t lost all the awards to its song and dance rival:

LaLa Land may be the heavy favorite to sweep the Oscars this year, but on February 19 the Writers Guild of America (WGA) awarded Best Adapted Screenplay to the underdog science fiction film Arrival.

Here are some WGA winners of genre interest.

FILM NOMINEES

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures- WINNER

TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA NOMINEES

ADAPTED SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA

“Part 4” (Fear the Walking Dead: Passage), Written by Lauren Signorino & Mike Zunic; amc.com – WINNER

CHILDREN’S EPISODIC

“Mel vs. The Night Mare of Normal Street” (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street), Written by Laurie Parres; Amazon Studios – WINNER

VIDEOGAME NOMINEES

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Written by Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr; Additional Writing Tom Bissell, Ryan James; Naughty Dog – WINNER

(15) NO BUCK ROGERS, NO BUCKS. Jim C. Hines continues to analyze the data from his latest survey — “2016 Novelist Income Results, Part 4: Impact of Marketing and Promotion”.

Does this mean the time and money I spent last year as a large-press author traveling to signings and conventions and doing online promotion was completely wasted? Not necessarily. We’re looking at overall trends, and any individual data point might buck a given trend. (Also, correlation =/= causation. I think I’ve said that on every post so far.)

There’s also the question about how you’re spending that time. 20 hours spent standing on a street corner wearing a BUY LIBRIOMANCER! sign probably wasn’t as effective as 20 hours spent researching reviewers and sending out targeted review copies of my book.

(16) SPACE STATION OF THE APES. First there were snakes on a plane. Now there’s a gorilla on the ISS.

Astronauts aboard the international space station recently had a surprise visitor, but it wasn’t an alien.

In a video posted on Twitter, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly dresses up in a gorilla suit and chases his colleagues around the space station.

Kelly’s brother, Mark Kelly, posted a video of the incident on Monday with the hashtag #ApeInSpace.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day bookworm1398.]

89 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/23/17 We Scroll Not Because It Is Easy, But Because It Is Hard

  1. “There is probably no A. N. Onymous listed in your directory.”

    “Now look up Dr. Acula and C.O. Jones!”

    **

    So, wait, let me get this straight. Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen were also disinvited from CPAC and had book deals cancelled because they spoke up in favor of statutory rape?

    Dang.

  2. @Hampus – I’ve been thinking the same thing. BT had a rant about this on his blog, as well, with the same vageblogging style as the MGs are wont to employ. I thought about trying to engage, but I got a couple imaginary replies in, and realized the focus would shift from Delany’s discussion about NAMBLA to the fictional work SSaRR focused on, and then it’d go down the rabbit hole of “what is art” and prurience and the way far right/left types don’t seem able to distinguish fiction about bad people from fiction lauding bad people and blah blah blah. I don’t have the energy, so I didn’t bother. They’re all just racking up points in their imaginary tennis match against the G*dless commies.

    On a nicer note… currently reading:
    Just finished a re-read of Player Piano. Given the times, I needed a reminder that my home state doesn’t only produce Christian Dominionist bigots and low-information voters, so I’m embarking on a Vonnegut re-read, in approximate publication order. Haven’t read most of these since I was 16 or so (aside from those that were published later than that). Some pacing issues with it, and the humor is less out-front than in my favorite books, but an interesting read and full of Vonnegut’s insights into humanity.

    Currently picked up where I left off in Abbadon’s Gate (third book in the Expanse series, for those who aren’t keeping track). It started out a bit slow, and it turns out I dropped out to find something more fun about 15-20 pages from where everything gets really exciting. Am now digging the Hell out of the series again, after kind of being bored by book 2, which just seemed a retread of the first book. This series reads to me like a loving tribute to SF-past that also adds its own twist on things. I may pick up book 4 for my next read, or go back to Vonnegut, or if things are just too damned grim (very possible), move to the next unread Pratchett/Discworld book on my list (Nightwatch).

  3. Kathodus:IIRC nightwatch is the darkest and grimmest of the Diskworld novels… Its also one of the best imho.

    Lets see what the Puppies will say about the WH banning CNN, NY Times, politico and Buzzfeed from their “gaggle”. Judging from the posts on MIlo, I expect stark criticism…

  4. @Peer – I’d heard that, but I feel even the grimmest Pratchett will make me feel better about existence.

  5. I assume everyone realizes that S&S didn’t drop Milo’s book because they were morally outraged – they dropped it because they figured if Breitbart readers won’t buy it, who will?

    @kathodus. NIghtwatch is one of my favorites. I’ll just include a quote to tempt you – “Raising the flag and singing the national anthem are, while slightly suspicious, not in themselves acts of treason.”

  6. There was at one time a Nebula jury which could add works to the ballot; this caused a bit of a stir in, I think, 2005, when a Mr Beale was on it. It has since been abolished.

  7. @kathodus Thanks for the note on Abaddon’s Gate. I kind of stalled in the middle of that one after enjoying the first two. Sounds like I need to stuff it back into the middle of Mount TBR.

  8. @emgrasso, @kathodus: FYI, book 4, while it isn’t exactly less grim than 1-3, does have a major change of scenery that I found pretty refreshing. So I would definitely recommend continuing straight on after 3.

  9. A few early 2017 short recs. For some reason, they’re all novelettes. In rough order of how much I liked them:

    The Dark Birds by Ursula Vernon – already mentioned but I thought I’d re-mention it. This is the traditional January novelette for Apex, it’s easily up to the standard of previous installments, except it’s much darker.
    The Thule Stowaway by Maria Dahvana Headley – I sometimes get lost in the maze of allusion and poetry that MDH weaves, but despite being a set of nested narratives I followed this one right through. It’s a “secret history” style story that manoeuvres around the mysteries of the last days of Edgar Allen Poe.
    Later, Let’s Tear Up The Inner Sanctum by A. Merc Rustad – there are probably some flaws in this story – the plot is a bit woolly towards the end tbh – but I like the style of transcripts and blog entries, and the plot of “superheroes and villains – but what’s the real story” manages to avoid being hackneyed.
    A Series of Steaks by Vina Jie-Min Prasad – an honourable mention for being a fun and clever story about a woman running a shady 3D printing business who ends up having to counterfeit prime beef steak.

  10. Plus Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone also crossed my kindle and is a worthy addition to the series. It’s a direct sequel to the events of Three Parts Dead, and deals quite directly with the (excuse me as I avoid spoilers) god-related events of that book. I think that what impressed me most about this is that it shows how much of a craftsman Gladstone is – you can see him getting all his plot strands carefully together, and he never lets things drift or bloat out of control. The downside is that you can rather see the strings sometimes, but I prefer that to the alternative. The only real issue I have is that the plot is set up by a bunch of people opining that it would be terrible if X happened and they’d better not let it…and then X happens because a character who knows better causes it. I didn’t feel its inevitability was set up well enough.
    It’s been mentioned on here before that the whole series is going cheap right now, plus there’s a big omnibus edition coming out, and it’s well-worth dipping into.

  11. Scrolling is, indeed, very hard, and getting hard! I thank Our Gracious Host for acknowledging this fact.

    Also, I have to agree on Correia’s lack of invisibility.

  12. Just finished off HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt and liked it really much, much more than his Hugo-winning short story (that I No Awarded). The ending, yes, it didn’t really fit the rest of the book, but I liked the creepy feeling from the rest of the book so much that it didn’t bother me that much.

    Will absolutely continue to read him if he makes more books of that kind.

  13. I’m already cranky enough having dealt at work with a large section of the public that included way too many trashy people and people who, in my grandma’s words, were no better than they ought to be so I’ve been following links about MY.
    First, the idea that MY is popping up all across various sites I read should make his little publicity-craving heart leap with joy.
    I notice that while SF sites bring up Delaney; non-SF morons are trying to use George Takei. I had to slap down one of my oldest friends who tried to use “liberal media is going after MY but what about what George Takei said?”
    Moira needs SERIOUS therapy. Or a smack. Either one. I’ve heard these lies for decades and I no longer have the tolerance for idiots.
    I see Paulk’s throwing around the ‘degenerate’ label; how very Nazi-esque of her. And the usual circle jerk is going on over there. I love how they’re blaming the liberal media when it’s the conservative press that’s running him off.
    Greg, kudos for tilting at windmills over there but that trash wouldn’t believe you if Jesus himself came down and said “Listen to this guy”
    Now I’m going to go watch Facebook videos of my great-niece giggling and trying to say her name..

  14. Harold Osler: Moira needs SERIOUS therapy.

    It make me so ill to see the Puppies continue to take advantage of and re-victimize her. Those people are consciencelesss and absolutely despicable. 🙁

  15. Lis Carey: Scrolling is, indeed, very hard, and getting hard! I thank Our Gracious Host for acknowledging this fact.

    Until this moment I never suspected you were Chuck Tingle.

  16. @Hampus Eckerman: I agree about Heuvelt’s Hugo nominee, but how do you feel that the ending of Hex doesn’t fit? ISTM that the book is deliberately set at a turning point rather than being just another slice of life-in-the-village; the way it ends answers to the actions of people in the beginning and middle. Deliberately vague to avoid spoiling; feel free to answer in rot13 if you wish, but bear in mind I read it shortly after US printing and am probably weak on some details — although I still wish I hadn’t finished it just before going to bed. wrt which: Filers who have triggers for \anything/ should steer away from this book. I won’t be reading any more Heuvelt unless I hear he’s gone in some other direction; de gustibus….

  17. Clip Hitchcock:

    Zber be gur yrff gur jubyr obbx pbafvfgrr bs qrfpevovat ubj rivy Xngurevar jnf. Ure znyvpr. Crbcyr jub gevrq gb trg bhgfvqr ure mbar bs vasyhrapr gevrq gb xvyy gurzfryirf. Ure juvfcref tbg crbcyr gb xvyy gurzfryirf. Fur xvyyrq n Crnpbpx ol gbhpu qenvavat vgf yvsr. Fur perngrq gbnqcbnyrf sbe n puvyq gb rng naq cbvfba uvzfrys. Ghearq serfu zrng ebggra naq svyyrq jvgu znttbgf.

    Naq va gur raq vg vf fhqqrayl abg ure snhyg. Vg vf rirelbar ryfr. Gur gbjacrbcyr ner qbbzvat gurzfryirf. Fur srryj fbeebj bire ubj gurl npg. Vg qbrfa’g svg.

  18. @Andrew M: There was at one time a Nebula jury which could add works to the ballot; this caused a bit of a stir in, I think, 2005, when a Mr Beale was on it. It has since been abolished.

    Thanks for checking in, Andrew. I thought I’d heard something about this. As usual, I’m just a few years out of date.

  19. Last night, I mentioned a $1.99 deal on the ebook for The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, and threatened to read the sample. I did, tried to buy it to keep reading, and my iPad rebooted spontaneously. But I persevered and bought it, staying up late reading a chunk. 🙂

    Anyway, I like it so far, though it’s an unusual book for me, really. I especially the characters and the voice, plus the mostly-around-the-edges ways the main characters touch on the SFF elements. There are a couple of aspects I like about the characters are perhaps unusual-to-me, so YMMV.

    @Hampus Eckerman: Thanks for commenting about Hex, which is on my list (so I’m skipping over what you & @Chris Hitchcock are saying about the ending for now).

  20. Hampus Eckerman: V qba’g erzrzore gur obbx jryy rabhtu gb fnl lbh’er jebat, ohg V qba’g erzrzore srryvat gung ng gur raq bs gur obbx; V znl unir orra birejuryzrq ol gur trareny lhpx. BGBU, vg’f abg pyrne gb zr gung gubfr jrer gur qryvorengr npgf bs Xngurevar-gur-crefba engure guna Xngurevar-gur-zlgu; pbafvqre ure va gur yvtug bs CnenAbezna.

  21. Until this moment I never suspected you were Chuck Tingle.

    Until I read this, I never suspected it, either! But really, could it be more obvious?

    I must inform you, reading it made me laugh.

    Laugh until I started coughing.

    Cough until I started squeaking, from the very constricted passage of air…

    And since nobody likes it when I start squeaking…

  22. Hello lovely people! I have never commented here, but lurk quite a bit during Hugo nomination and voting “seasons.” I enjoy all your recommendations, banter, and suggestions. I have just returned from a long time away from any reading, and have a massive TBR pile that I am working through so I can do my noms prior to the deadline. I just finished a novel that I haven’t heard any chatter about and wanted to see if anyone had comments – Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay. Maybe it is more fantasy than Science Fiction…but thought I would ask.

  23. @emgrasso I’m nearly done now – hoping to finish tomorrow – and I do think it’s worth it. Don’t know where you got stuck, but I was in a scene in a cafeteria with Anna, the minister. Things got interesting pretty quickly after that.

    @Eli That’s interesting. I’m torn between Nightwatch and continuing with The Expanse next.

  24. Kimberly: I just finished a novel that I haven’t heard any chatter about and wanted to see if anyone had comments – Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay.

    Hi Kimberly, and welcome!

    I started CoEaS a few months back but it didn’t grab me immediately, so I set it aside in favor of other books I’ve been waiting to read. I haven’t read any Kay yet, but hope to — I just don’t think it’s going to happen before the Hugo nomination deadline.

    I don’t remember reading any Filer comments on the book and couldn’t find any with a Google search (although that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any).

    However, there’s a review by a really knowledgeable guy whose reviews I follow here and another one by someone else at Worlds Without End, and a review by Niall Alexander over at Tor.com.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the book. If you need to post spoilers, you can run the spoilery text through rot13, and most of the people here will know how to decode it.

  25. I get the sense that Kay is the sort of writer none of whose works quite stand out in the way that attracts Hugo voters. Someone once remarked of Terry Pratchett that we might all agree that he should have got a Hugo, but when you ask ‘for what book?’ it becomes more of a puzzle: and I think Kay is similar.

    This raises the question whether his works might be eligible for Best Series. They are all connected, but very loosely, by being set in a multiverse – or at least they were: I’m not sure if he has kept this up. Does his latest book include a reference to Fionavar/Finavir/Fionvarre etc.?

  26. @Kimberly: I was very impressed by aCoEaS (including because I’d just been through much of its setting); however, I’m not a Worldcon member this year and so will not be nominating.

    @Andrew M: standing out from a series isn’t a requirement if the series is popular enough — consider the number of Vorkosigan books nominated — but Pratchett may have suffered from “humor isn’t serious”. (I’ve read that he was nominated in 2005 but declined because he didn’t need the agita of wondering whether he was going to win.) However, I haven’t seen indications that the Fionavar Tapestry connects to Kay’s other work; what mentions do you see? (I note that the FT is a portal fantasy, where most of his other work is our history with the names changed.) I found aCoEaS to be offhandedly connected to the Sarantine Mosaic (it’s centuries later but the mosaicist is still known), but I’d hesitate to put any set of his works up for best series as he picks discrete hinge points of history rather than continuing with one setting.

  27. The linking factor is the reference in each book (up to the Sarantine Mosaic, at least) to a mystical country called Fionvarre/Finavir/Finabar etc. Since Fionavar is ‘the first of all worlds’, this clearly refers to it. (There’s also Ysabel, of course, which is in direct continuity with the Fionavar Tapestry, though I found it less successful than many of the others.)

  28. nickpheas: (16) Why is this news? The tweet’s a year old?

    That’s not too fresh.

    It was near the top of somebody’s thread I was looking at yesterday, and I assumed it was therefore current.

  29. @JJ – Thank you so much for the welcome and the references for CoEaS. I enjoyed reading them. I have not read Kay’s recent works – the last ones I read were the Fionavar Tapestry, and the Darkest Road was hard for me to read. I took a rather long hiatus. I remembered enough of Kay’s writing to be intrigued, and since the book was in hand, well, why not! 🙂 I finished it last week, flying through the last half of the book with every spare moment. It has stayed with me, my mind going back over key moments and phrases – what beautiful writing!

    @Chip – so glad you enjoyed it! I can’t stop thinking about it.

    I agree that it started out slow, with lots of description and varying points of view. I almost put it down myself, but then things started happening and I realized that I was falling in love with the places – and then I fell in love with the characters. Most of them regular everyday people, in surprising and extraordinary situations, with the great world moving around them. A little bit of the unexplainable, a lot of every day beauty, and then just enough tragedy and happiness to make it all come out right. I didn’t want it to end.

    I have seen a lot of comments on goodreads about the book, not sure where all the discussions might be as we get close to nominations closing, but this one is still on my short list.

    The story happens after the fall of Sarantium, not sure where that puts it within the scope of Kay’s other works. Looks like I will be going back to do some catch up reading after my nominations are finalized.

    I need a bigger book budget.

  30. Kimberly: I need a bigger book budget.

    The plaintive cry of every internet rando who showed up here due to the Puppies and ended up becoming a regular Filer because of the book recommendations.

  31. It was near the top of somebody’s thread I was looking at yesterday, and I assumed it was therefore current.

    I think that a year old story has become the modern version of misdating a cheque, because, lets face it, who writes cheques these days? My beloved texted me last night, sad that Umberto Eco had died while we were on holiday. Turns out that a bunch of people had shared obituaries of his death last year to Facebook.

  32. @JJ:

    The plaintive cry of every internet rando who showed up here due to the Puppies and ended up becoming a regular Filer because of the book recommendations.

    I don’t think it’s limited to people who came here through the Puppies….

  33. Update on Kay: Further research suggests that everything since the Sarantine Mosaic is set in the same world, which means that a fortiori it is all set in the Fionavar multiverse, but in any case would allow the later works – which now include more than three volumes – to qualify as a series in their own right. Whether it would be a good nomination for Best Series is another matter; I tend to favour the view that the award should go to serially told stories or at least sets of works which have links on the story level. But it would certainly seem to be eligible.

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