Pixel Scroll 3/18/17 Your Mother Was A Scroller And Your Father Smelt Of Pixelberries

(1) CLARIFICATION. In my report about Sunil Patel the other day I conflated two separate social media comments that were each about two different newly-published Patel stories that came out very recently.

Just before Twitter started circulating angry anti-Diabolical Plots tweets (because of the story published there), there had been a complaint about Patel’s story “The Tragedy of the Dead Is They Cannot Cry” in Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge, view-able from the front page.

Whether or not Galaxy’s Edge can accurately be called “sad-puppy-adjacent,” it makes more sense that somebody might apply the label there than to David Steffen, who published the Long List anthologies as a very deliberate middle finger to the Puppies.

(2) MORE THAN HEY YOU. Steven Brust on “Fantasy Writing and Titles of Nobility”.

For Americans there is an element of the romantic and the exotic about titles of nobility, about Baron Soandso, or Count Thisandsuch, that I suspect is missing, or at any rate different, for who were raised in places where a feudal aristocracy was part of history..  In reality, the feudal landlords were vicious bloodsuckers—when not for personal reasons, than simply because of the nature of the property relations that ultimately defined everyone’s life.  What I am not about to do is suggest is that American fantasy writers ignore the exotic and romantic elements—your readers have them in their heads, and unless you see your job is primarily pedagogical (which I do not), what is in the reader’s head is key: it is easier to play with the reader’s head if you work with what you know is rattling around in there.

(3) RACISM TAKES EXTRA WORK. Justina Ireland offers one more reason why “Writing is Hard: Racism in a Fantasy Landscape”. The excerpt covers the first of her four points.

I touched on the idea of dismantling racism within a fantasy setting on twitter earlier this week.  Authors, especially white authors, like to tackle ideas of racism within fantasy settings by creating fake races for the point of view characters to be racist against.  This seems like a good idea in theory, but it is actually harder than just writing fantasy cultures that have a correlation to real world cultures and deconstructing real world racism within a fantasy setting.

Here’s why:

  1. You have to teach a reader about the power structures in your fantasy world. And then deconstruct them.  Part of writing fantasy is about teaching a reader how to read your book.  This involves setting up scenes that illustrate the possible outcomes that can exist in your fantasy world.  Can your characters use magic? Great, now you have to show the reader the price of that magic, or the societal ramifications of that magic.  But you also will have to do that for the racism against the made up races within your book.  So creating a made up race creates more work to be done on the page.

(4) A BETTER TANGLED WEB. Aidan Doyle begins his explanation of the Twine program in “Writer’s Guide to Twine” at the SFWA Blog.

Twine was created by Chris Klimas in 2009 and is “an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.” Simply put, it’s a program that makes it easier for writers to make their own “Choose Your Own Adventure” style fiction. There are a number of tools for writing interactive fiction, but Twine is one of the simplest and most popular.

Interactive Fiction (IF) comes in many forms, including text-based parser games such as Zork where the player types in commands (Go north. Eat chocolate. Talk to green wizard). If you want to make this style of game, then Inform is probably your best option. Ken Liu’s Clockwork Soldier is an example of a traditional story which has IF-like commands embedded within it.

In contrast, stories written in Twine generally present the reader with choices in the form of hypertext links. Although there are many systems available for writing IF, Twine in particular has been celebrated for its ease of use. Twine is more focused on stories as opposed to games and produces HTML files, allowing anyone with a modern browser to read your story.

(5) BERRY OBIT. Rock’n roll legend Chuck Berry passed away today.

(6) THE FORCE IN ARIZONA. Phoenix public radio station KJZZ had a six-minute piece about Jedi-ism’s rise. (Listen at the link.)

The Star Wars universe has been a vital part of popular culture for more than 40 years, and that passion was renewed by the box-office smash “The Force Awakens.”

And thousands of people have decided that they want the force to be with them, even when they’re not watching one of the films.

They have decided to practice Jedi-ism. And here with me to explain its tenets and more is Jodie Vann, an instructor in ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

(7) MONOPOLY BROKEN. Or improved. It alll depends on how you feel about the change.

The boot has been booted, the wheelbarrow has been wheeled out, and the thimble got the thumbs down in the latest version of the board game Monopoly. In their place will be a Tyrannosaurus rex, a penguin and a rubber ducky.

More than 4.3 million voters from 146 countries weighed in on which tokens they wanted to see in future versions of the property-acquisition game, which is based on the real-life streets of Atlantic City. Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro announced the winners Friday morning.

(8) QUANTUM OF STROLLERS. Bruce Arthurs came across some of these “quantum physics for babies” books by Chris Ferrie listed on Goodreads Giveaways and thought they might be quirky enough for a Pixel Scroll mention: Books.

Quantum Physics for Babies is a colorfully simple introduction to the principle which gives quantum physics its name. Baby will find out that energy is “quantized” and the weird world of atoms never comes to a stand still. It is never too early to become a quantum physicist!

The author, Chris Ferrie, is an actual quantum theorist who self-published the original Quantum Physics For Babies; surprise, it took off well enough Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (childrens books division of Sourcebooks) will be coming out with an entire series starting in May.

Ferrie’s recently-started blog is fun too. Here’s an excerpt from “Milking a new theory of physics”:

For the first time, physicists have found a new fundamental state of cow, challenging the current standard model. Coined the cubic cow, the ground-breaking new discovery is already re-writing the rules of physics.

A team of physicists at Stanford and Harvard University have nothing to do with this but you are probably already impressed by the name drop. Dr. Chris Ferrie, who is currently between jobs, together with a team of his own children stumbled upon the discovery, which was recently published in Nature Communications*.

The spherical theory of cow had stood unchallenged for over 50 years—and even longer if a Russian physicist is reading this. The spherical cow theory led to many discoveries also based on O(3) symmetries. However, spherical cows have not proven practically useful from a technological perspective. “Spherical cows are prone to natural environmental errors, whereas our discovery digitizes the symmetry of cow,” Ferrie said.

(9) MORE MARS BUZZ. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the Moon, has launched a virtual reality movie detailing his plan to get humans to Mars. The BBC has the video — Buzz Aldrin takes you to Mars in VR.

The film – Cycling Pathways to Mars – lasts just under 10 minutes and features the astronaut as a hologram narrating the experience.

Mr Aldrin’s plan involves using the moons of Earth and Mars essentially as pitstops for people travelling to and from the Red Planet – a trip that will take about six months each way.

(10) FOR THE ROUND FILE. Chip Hitchcock says, “If you thought the jet-boarder wasn’t extreme enough, somebody pushing circular runways. He says it’s to prevent crosswind landings — but airports that could afford such a mishegoss can certainly afford enough runways to avoid this hazard, and as a former lightplane pilot (who had to learn about heavy ops to get an instrument rating) I see so many things wrong with this idea.”

(11) IN A COMMA. The BBC notices the Oxford-comma case, and provides several other examples of expensive errors in comma use.

(12) FROM BBC TO BB-8. “Droids Interrupt Darth Vader Interview” is a parody of the “Children Interrupt BBC Interview” viral video.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Bruce Arthurs, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Gregory N. Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

64 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/18/17 Your Mother Was A Scroller And Your Father Smelt Of Pixelberries

  1. (6) “The Star Wars universe has been a vital part of popular culture for more than 40 years…” Was this piece written from sometime in the near future? At this point 40 years ago, some audiences had seen trailers, but Star Wars had hardly become “vital” in March or April or even most of May 1977. (For me personally, it never did become “vital” despite my seeing Star Wars five times during its year-long first run – if it had, I’d have bought at least six theater tickets that I never did buy.)

  2. If anyone missed it, there’s a “post your ballots” thread running. It’s fascinating to see the vast range of works everyone nominates.

    (1) CLARIFICATION

    I’m not sure Galaxy’s Edge can fairly be called SP-adjacent. As far as I can remember, Resnick stayed sensibly quiet on the topic. If he’d been openly supportive anywhere then I’m pretty sure that would have been trumpeted around.

    (7) MONOPOLY BROKEN

    There’s a T-Rex! Awesome.

    (12) FROM BBC TO BB-8

    Hilarious. But still not as funny as the swagger in the little girls walk in the original video.

    I got round to seeing Logan last night. That was seriously grimdark. I suspect Patrick Stewart (Sir Patrick, to fit in with (2)) liked having something to do in an X-movie that wasn’t just being earnestly good all the time.

  3. In Deep space close by Lusitania
    Way back up in the moons and the asteroids
    There was a ship made of earth and wood
    where lived a filer boy named Johnny B. Scroll
    Who never learned to count to five so well
    But he could click a box like a ringing bell
    Scroll
    Johnny scroll!
    Scroll
    Johnny scroll!
    Scroll
    Johnny scroll!
    Scroll
    Johnny scroll!

    Johnny B. Scroll!

    RIP Chuck Berry 🙁

  4. (4) A BETTER TANGLED WEB

    I always love seeing interactive fiction getting a nod 🙂 There’s some fantastic stuff out there.

    I’ve hardly played Twine at all, though — precisely because of the choose-your-own-adventure-iness, which I confess appeals to me less. But the list of recommendations in the essay sound worth a try — maybe I’ll give ’em a whirl!

    (I hadn’t realized Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest was a Twine game. Huh.)

  5. re (5) This is a worthy life goal: https://twitter.com/bobproehl/status/843268519852687360

    “Dear Chuck Berry
    When they tell you your music will live forever, you can usually be sure they’re exaggerating. But Johnny B. Goode is on the Voyager interstellar records attached to NASA’s Voyager spacecraft — now two billion miles from Earth and bound for the stars. These records will last a billion years or more.
    Happy 60th birthday, with our admiration for the music you have given to this world …
    Go Johnny, go.
    (signed) Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan
    Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
    On behalf of the Voyager Interstellar Record Committee.

  6. @Standback

    All those examples are worth checking out, but Porpentine is particularly good at using Twine in ways that go beyond “choose-your-own-adventure”.

  7. Just when you think you’ve seen the craziest behavior possible from a gizmo, technology manages to top itself.

    Today I discovered that the reason my young Android tablet (can’t rightly call it “new” after the first couple of months) hasn’t been charging over the last few days is that it needed to be rebooted. Cables are fine, outlets are fine – it’s purely a software issue on the tablet. I can’t even imagine the design process that would lead to such an outcome. Surely it’s not a desired effect, right?

    Next to that, my iPad refusing to charge from a new (supposedly iPad-friendly) cable is downright sensible. I mean, of course I’m frustrated by that, as it’s an unsolvable problem whereas the Android thing was an easy (if bizarre) fix, but I can understand the design theory involved. I mainly resent the time and effort I spent ruggedizing a cable I hadn’t first spent a few seconds testing… and I can’t fairly blame anyone but myself for that mistake. At least I’d already ruggedized another replacement cable, which works just fine.

    Is it weird that I don’t know which, if any, of my friends has an iPhone? The “bad” cable would probably work great for that.

  8. Signal boosting for my friend Arkady Martine, because those headed to Scandinavia for Worldcon might be interested. (Oh Mike, if you made this into a scroll item or a blog post, I am certain Arkady would be thrilled. She’s been talking about this idea for a couple of years and now has the chance to make it happen)

    http://www.historiesofthefuture.net/

    http://byzantienne.tumblr.com/post/158544164913/reception-histories-of-the-future-a-conference-on

    This conference aims to bring together some of the most innovative modern writers of speculative fiction with scholars working at the cutting edge of Byzantine reception studies for a two-day discussion of Byzantinism, decadence, empire, and storytelling. The conference will therefore collapse the distance between practitioners and critics, and bring reception studies into a direct dialogue with one of today’s most vibrant genres of popular fiction. Planned activities include public events at local bookstores, presentations of scholarly papers, and group panel discussions between writers and scholars. A post-conference publication will include both essays, academic articles, and commissioned fiction.
    And Look at this guest list:

    Amal al-Mohtar
    Elizabeth Bear
    Aliette de Bodard
    Max Gladstone
    Ann Leckie
    Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden
    Ada Palmer
    Mia Sereno
    Jo Walton
    Fran Wilde

  9. There was also chatter on twitter about Sunil apparently planning on going to WorldCon this year, although who knows if that’s still happening.

  10. The problem with @2 is that “vicious bloodsuckers” is as almost as bad a simplification as the largely-obsolete romantic views; like vampires, metaphorical vicious bloodsuckers can run out of victims. How badly either simplification falls down depends at least partly on the author’s supply of handwavium versus their attempts at plausible economics.

  11. (5)
    When aliens finally contact us, the first message will probably be “Send More Chuck Berry”.

  12. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 3-19-2017 - Amazing Stories

  13. recent-reading recommendation: Kat Howard, Roses and Rot. Potential triggers right up front (the narrator has been horribly abused, mostly psychological, by her single mother); story starts with a scholarship to a retreat where the narrator can work on making the art that the mother was opposed to, then tangles with the sort of what-is-story that Gaiman (who advised the author and provided a cover quote) is known for, but with more interest in the people behind the stories. (Yes, I’m being opaque; like most first-person stories, part of the story is the narrator digging through the layers to find more bits of the truth.) I don’t think she quite sticks the ending, but I may just have missed something; definitely worth the read.

  14. A bit of recent reading myself: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman, from the Tor.com novella line. This is a Victorian urban fantasy, although apparently they want us to call it a Gaslamp Fantasy which, hmm, let’s see if it catches on. It’s the start of a series and does an ok-but-not-brilliant job of being a standalone story, mostly setting up the world and getting some initial plot, which is that magic in England is controlled by three competing Guilds, rogue mages are caught and forcefully enrolled, and there’s something non-specifically rotten going on with the whole system, which our protagonist will undoubtedly be bumbling into at some point. Speaking of our protagonist, Charlotte is an artist who is already hiding her mundane talent under a bushel by illustrating under a male pseudonym, which leads neatly into the inevitable discovery that she’s also hiding a non-mundane talent under a bushel too…

    Anyway, Emma Newman is a good writer of UF already, and so this is a good piece of UF and I like the (ahem) gaslamp setting, but I ended up feeling a bit like I’d been served up the first third of a novel. I’ll be picking up the sequel(s) but I really wish first volumes would be a bit more standalone, and if you’re likely to be frustrated by that then you might want to hold off.

    (Word count: LibreOffice has it squeaking in as a novella at 39,944)

  15. (3)

    The except covers the first of her four points.

    Is that word supposed to be “excerpt”?

    Rev. Bob on March 19, 2017 at 4:17 am said:

    Today I discovered that the reason my young Android tablet (can’t rightly call it “new” after the first couple of months) hasn’t been charging over the last few days is that it needed to be rebooted. Cables are fine, outlets are fine – it’s purely a software issue on the tablet. I can’t even imagine the design process that would lead to such an outcome. Surely it’s not a desired effect, right?

    My Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet (almost three years old and going strong) occasionally *looks* like it’s not charging until I reboot it. But when I re-boot it’s at 100%.

    Many SFF folks are evidently going to this conference in Uppsala before Worldcon this year.

  16. (5) Thought they should have included No Particular Place to Go with Voyager.

    (7) I was disappointed to see the thimble go because that dates back to when the game used common objects around the house as its playing pieces. I did vote for the penguin and the T-rex so I have to take some of the blame.

    I keep thinking that they could make a ton of money just by special selling token sets. Make them for a limited time. (It worked so well for comic books.) Even now, some people just sell the token sets from the special editions of Monopoly on eBay.

    I’m seeing reports online that Bernie Wrightson has passed away. Not turning out to be a great weekend.

  17. I think “Gas-lamp” Fantasy is meant to indicate the technological level of a world that doesn’t actually have a Queen Victoria. First encountered it with Girl Genius, where the world and political situation also diverge from our history a lot more than “steampunk” usually implies

  18. @ULTRAGOTHA: “My Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet (almost three years old and going strong) occasionally *looks* like it’s not charging until I reboot it. But when I re-boot it’s at 100%.”

    That wasn’t the situation here. I had the thing plugged in, because its battery life is atrocious, and the battery meter kept edging down anyway. When I finally powered it down completely and reseated the cable (yet again), the quick battery-level display was at 18% – so I left it off and connected to let it do nothing but charge for a while. When I turned it back on, it was at less than 100%, but it continued charging.

    It’s a cheap POS tablet anyway. I bought it for next to nothing and use it only as a Viggle/Perk device, so it’s already paid for itself. (I should earn another $25 gift card this afternoon, after getting one last Monday.) It still baffles me that rebooting the thing affected the charging. All I can figure is that there’s an app running that eats a little more power as time goes by, ultimately resulting in greater consumption than the charging cord provides. Rebooting would restart that process…

  19. (7) MONOPOLY BROKEN.

    Typical bloody capitalism. Everything related to workers, those that actual produce the wealth, is rendered invisible or removed from the game.

    Meh.

  20. @ Mark: Resnick has been involved in a couple of brouhahas over topics similar to some of the ones SPs get up in arms about, and has used the same kind of language they employ during the course of said brouhahas. He may not have actively thrown in with them, but I would consider “puppy-adjacent” to be a fair description.

  21. @Lee

    Yes, the SFWA Bulletin thing, for starters; I have no time for his opinions in that line, and they certainly resemble some of the things the SP runners have also come out with. However, I’ve not seen him actually supporting slating tactics. After a quick google I found Jason Sanford quoting him being fairly scathing about SP. If someone wants to criticise him over the attitude he showed during the Bulletin thing, or something else he’s actually said, then I’d have no issues with that, but if he’s not actually supported SP then it doesn’t seem reasonable to tar him with the same brush.

  22. I think “Gas-lamp” Fantasy is meant to indicate the technological level of a world that doesn’t actually have a Queen Victoria.

    I’ll admit, I don’t understand this sentence. It’s as if a “Queen Victoria” is a technological achievement; first Robot Empress or something.

    Gaslamp fantasy is fantasy/SF set in a roughly Victorian or Edwardian setting.* Kaja Foglio coined the term as an alternative to “steampunk,” on trademark grounds (there was a comic book called STEAMPUNK at the time and she wanted a term they could use on GIRL GENIUS covers), technology grounds (they used more than steam) and style grounds (not much “punk” to it).

    But I don’t think that the existence or non-existence of Victoria enters into it.

    *with the usual fuzzy outlines endemic to most genre definitions.

  23. I think some people think that, since the era is named after a person, it needs to be named something else if that person doesn’t exist. So you can’t really have a Victorian era without Queen Victoria, or Edwardian without King Edward (um, bearing in mind that we’ve had a number of those, scattered rather haphazardly over the centuries.)

    I’m not 100% sure I agree, but I do see the point.

  24. Hampus, ISTR reading somewhere that in its first form Monopoly was meant to be a demonstration of the evils of rampant capitalisation. My family anacdata is that we generally all hated the eventual winner by the end of each game.

  25. Kip W.: Well, I’m back.

    If Tolkien hadn’t chopped everything after that point you’d have been able to give us a preview of the doings of the next generation of your family. And how would you know that? I guess you’d have to do what he did — make it all up.

  26. ULTRAGOTHA: Is that word supposed to be “excerpt”?

    You may commence appertaining the beverage of your choice!

  27. So you can’t really have a Victorian era without Queen Victoria,

    But you can have a Queen Victoria in gaslamp fantasy.

    The citizens of GIRL GENIUS wouldn’t call it the Victorian Era, of course, lacking a Victoria. But they don’t call it gaslamp fantasy either, because to them it’s not fantasy.

  28. @ Mark: Fair enough. My personal definition of “puppies” is a little wider than just support for slating; IME, there’s a whole roster of general attitudes that the vast majority of puppies have in common, that non-puppy authors/fans don’t share, and that informs my opinions.

  29. Meredith Moment, horror division:

    Amazon has the third Limbus, Inc. volume slashed from $9.99 to 99 cents today. I enjoyed the first rather more than the second, but it’s worth mentioning that this third tome includes a tale by a certain (shuffles notes) “Seanan McGuire.” I don’t think you need to have read the first two to enjoy the third, but it wouldn’t hurt. (Those, however, are not currently discounted.)

    The Limbus anthologies hinge on the concept that, when one is truly desperate, they may stumble upon the contact information for a company called Limbus, Inc., which will offer them a job doing something they’re eminently qualified for. The smart thing to do is run very quickly in the other direction… but then, desperate people don’t always make the smart choice.

    The first volume was written as a book-within-a-book, much like the movie Creepshow, with the framing story being that of the person reading that manuscript. It was weird and twisted and quite reminiscent of the Twilight Zone, and I’m rather looking forward to diving into this installment. The only question is whether I’ll do so before or after the dairy-controlling superhero books. 🙂

  30. @BGrandrath:

    Perhaps, all things considered, “I bark in your general direction”? 😉

  31. @Rev. Bob
    That is good (wish I had thought of it) but hasn’t been a lot of barking around here lately

  32. Iiiiiiiih!!! Thank you all filers and thank you, Kyra, for putting it in the bracket where I first noticed it. I just finished Curse of Chalion and am happy, happy, happy. Now I have to buy ALL the books and read ALL the books.

    Now!!!

  33. (1) Clarification
    I’m not sure Galaxy’s Edge was sad-puppy-adjacent, except in so far as Mike Resnick was on the SP3 slate. Am I misremembering? I don’t think I’d want to label people with just the odd opinion in common with the Pups as Puppy-adjacent, although I think it would be fair to say that at least some not-Puppy-adjacent people may be part of the same social circles and overall attitude to the political bits of fandom.

    (3) Racism Takes Extra Work
    Hmm. I’m not sure this is quite right. I mean, I appreciate the aim of the essay, but it seems to me that relying on real world understandings as a short-cut also assumes that everyone shares that understanding, which in my experience is not true.

    (7) Monopoly Broken
    Drat. I always liked the boot. Still! T-rex is pretty cool. Mind you, I haven’t had any urge to play it in years. I’ve been sticking to board- and card-games much shorter in average duration. (If you’re after a good two player card game which doesn’t take up too much space and time but has many excellent camels, I recommend Jaipur.)

    @kathodus

    Was that Fifth on purpose? I was tickled. 🙂

    I’m still puzzling over an American house I saw on a home blog the other day being described as ‘Victorian’. Is that a thing in the USA? I would have thought American’s would avoid naming things after British royalty.

    Every time I see someone type “Meredith Moment” I take a few seconds for a happy wriggle. I’m sort of waiting-and-seeing whether I have the spoons for it, but those roundups are on my to-do list for getting back in the swing of things…

  34. Doire:

    “Hampus, ISTR reading somewhere that in its first form Monopoly was meant to be a demonstration of the evils of rampant capitalisation.”

    The Landlord’s Game as it was first called, yes.

  35. @meredith Re: Victorian. It’s an umbrella term here in the States for a couple of architectural style types, ranging from Second Empire through Romanesque. What most people think of as “Victorian style” or would point to in a picture or on a street as “Victorian” is more properly called Queen Anne. Which is again a little weird to call it that, but that’s a architectural term.

  36. Paul Weimer: You have the right of it on what gets called Victorian here. Certainly anything trimmed with gingerbread woodwork.

    In the 1890s there was also an ostentatious style called steamboat gothic. It was specifically called by that name when I first encountered the term in the 1970s, but I wonder if it is lumped under Victorian nowadays?

  37. Some better-known examples of what’s called “Victorian” in the US are the “Painted Ladies” of Alamo Square, in San Francisco (which still has quite a lot of buildings from that era) and the Carson Mansion in Eureka, both in California.

    When my family was living in San Jose, we were not far from a house that was built by a man for his intended bride – the wedding never happened, but the house is still around (It’s right next to the branch library). The biggest change is an added stairway up the side, to what was a porch on the second floor, above the front porch – and they matched the style when they did it.

  38. @ Meredith: “Victorian” is definitely A Thing in the US. It was one of the popular styles of architecture for older houses; I live only a few miles from an entire neighborhood full of gingerbread and gables. The people who live in those houses often also indulge in Victorian-style interior decor.

    As for us not naming things after British royalty, it is to laugh. There’s a huge chunk of the populace that absolutely obsesses over the British royal family — our tabloids are filled with stories about them, and people who are heavy fans of certain literary genres (such as steampunk and Sherlock Holmes) will often expand out into learning more about the Victorian era in general.

  39. @Meredith: “(If you’re after a good two player card game which doesn’t take up too much space and time but has many excellent camels, I recommend Jaipur.)”

    LOL, it’s not often I read a game rec including camels.

    @Paul Weimer: Ah but we do call certain types of furniture Queen Anne or Queen Anne style. 🙂 So it’s all good.

  40. I approve of the term “Gaslamp fantasy”, mainly because I would approve of anything that avoids the overly broad application of “steampunk” or “Victorian”. At this point, I think steampunk and Victorian are labels slapped on any fantasy that isn’t either pseudo-Medieval or urban fantasy.

    I think it was a review of Elliott’s “Cold Magic” novel that got me to stop reading Goodreads reviews. First, a single dirigible does not make a book steampunk; a book set in an alternate Napolionic era is not Victorian; and when the characters say several times to where they are in Mainland Europe, the book Is NOT set in England. Maybe if the reviewer hadn’t spent so much time finding cutsy gifs to put in their review, they could have found time to actually read the book.

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