Pixel Scroll 3/29/17 “Scrolls! They Were Inwented By A Little Old Lady From Pixelgrad!”

(1) GEMMELL LONGLIST VOTING DEADLINE. First round balloting on The Gemmell Awards longlist closes March 31. It is free and open to the public. Click here to cast your vote for the Ravenheart Award (best cover art), Morning Star Award (best debut novel) and the Legend Award (best fantasy novel). The shortlists for each award will be announced and voting opened on April 21.

Legend Award “Snaga”

(2) MAKING BOOK. The next Doctor Who will be….? Here’s where British gamblers are putting their money this week.

Today, DoctorWhoTV.co.uk has shared a story from Betway. This particular bookmakers reckons that Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge – who’s set to appear in the young Han Solo movie next year – is in with a shot.

“Phoebe Waller-Bridge is all the rage with the punters at the moment”, a spokesperson revealed. “Her odds of being the next Doctor Who have collapsed from 20/1 to 2/1 since Monday morning and we’re on red alert, keeping an eye out for any more telling bets.

“Kris Marshall remains solid at 2/1, but the sudden rush of support for Waller-Bridge suggests the race to become TV’s next Time Lord is swinging in her favour.”

(3) SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK LYRICIST. He’s on the road again. (Wait, that isn’t his song!) Songwriter Bob Dylan is doing two concerts in Stockholm, so long as he’s in the neighborhood… “Bob Dylan finally agrees to accept Nobel Prize for Literature”.

Bob Dylan will finally accept his Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm this weekend, the academy has announced.

The American singer was awarded the prize in October but failed to travel to pick up the award, or deliver the lecture that is required to receive the 8m kroner ($900,000;£727,000) prize.

The academy said it would meet Dylan, 75, in private in the Swedish capital, where he is giving two concerts.

He will not lecture in person but is expected to send a taped version.

If he does not deliver a lecture by June, he will have to forfeit the prize money.

(4) CHANGELINGS. Debbie Urbanski pushes the envelope of literary discussion with her post “In Which I Make Up a Categorization Called ‘Slow-paced Genre Realism”.

I had a great time this past month savoring Version Control by Dexter Palmer. It clocks in at a little over 18 hours as an audio book, but once I settled into the story, I found the slow pacing to be really wonderful. I wonder if we can create a sub-genre in science fiction or fantasy of slow-paced genre novels (or slow-paced genre realism?). Think a little Alice Munro or Karl Ove Knausgard transported into a genre setting. Into such a categorization, I’d throw some of my favorite books: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, as well as Molly Gloss’s Dazzle of the Day and Wild Life. Ah, and how about the beloved The Wall by Marlen Haushofer? My Real Children by Jo Walton? And then there is this one book I read 20 years ago, which I can not locate, no matter how many creative Google searches I do, about a regular California community and a regular woman, maybe a mother, who is just essentially living in an almost boring way–and then, in what’s maybe the last two chapters, there is a nuclear holocaust. But that is such a small part of the book, maybe even an afterthought…

I’ll stop my list now. But I do admire the authors who write this way. I think it takes some courage to straddle the line, not just in style but in plotting, between genre and realistic fiction as they do, as genre readers may find such fiction slow, and literary readers may wonder why there has to be aliens in the story….

Urbanski’s story with the intriguing title “On the Problem of Replacement Children: Prevention, Coping, and Other Practical Strategies” appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January/February 2017. Although you have to buy the issue to read it, the author interview about this story shows why that might be something you’d want to do —

Tell us a bit about “On the Problem of Replacement Children: Prevention, Coping, and Other Practical Strategies.”

I’ve been interested in the idea of speculative non-fiction these last few years: what if you took a certain emotional element of your life, put it in a speculative setting, and then wrote about it? So on the one hand, the emotions in this story capture my experience raising my son, who has autism, and my struggle to work through what I needed to work through, accept the child I actually have, and figure out how I can best be a parent to him. On the other hand, this is a fictional story about a world where children are snatched from under the lax eyes of their parents and replaced with a different child from another world….

(5) GHOST NOT INCLUDED. Who ya gonna call? The LA Times called the real estate agent — “Haunted Hollywood home of ‘Dracula’ legend Bela Lugosi for sale for $3 million”.

It’s been over 80 years since iconic cinema star Bela Lugosi slept in this stately Tudor in Beachwood Canyon, yet his reputation still haunts it. Whether it’s called Westshire Manor, Castle La Paloma, or simply the Bela Lugosi House, the remodeled mansion is now for sale for $3 million.

The hillside Los Angeles neighborhood where this mansion is perched is right under the world-famous “Hollywood” sign, and is in fact still known as “Hollywoodland,” which is what the sign said when it was first constructed.

Best known for playing Count Dracula, Lugosi moved around Los Angeles and was hard to pin down, but the best sources place him in this particular home between 1934 and 1937. Apparently he, his fourth wife, Lillian, and their large dogs, including Great Danes and a white German Shepherd, enjoyed hiking to what was the Hollywoodland sign at the time.

Lugosi wasn’t the only celebrity to inhabit the manor. Actress Kathy Bates lived there for several years. Considering her roles in “Misery” as well as “American Horror Story,” we thought Westshore Manor might have a scary actor vibe.

(6) WOTF LIVESTREAM. The Writers of the Future Awards ceremony will be livestreamed on Sunday, April 2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. (PDT).

Streaming will be live from writersofthefuture.com and Facebook.com/WritersandIllustratorsoftheFuture.

The event will open with a fire dance, featuring performers from EMCirque, a Hollywood and Las Vegas based Circus Entertainment Production Company. Concurrent with the dance, Rob Prior (creator of the poster art for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and Larry Elmore will execute a live painting on stage.

Celebrity presenters will include Erika Christensen (co-star “The Case for Christ” releasing April 2017) and Marisol Nichols (Hermione Lodge in the CW’s “Riverdale”).

…As the top names in the science fiction and fantasy world, contest judges will be on hand to present the annual awards to this year’s writer and illustrator winners as well as the grand prize winner for each contest.

Writer judges who will be attending include: Kevin J. Anderson, Gregory Benford, Dave Farland, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Nancy Kress, Larry Niven, Jody Lynn, Nye, Nnedi Okorafor, Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Mike Resnick and Robert J, Sawyer.

Illustrator judges will include: Ciruelo, Echo and Lazarus Chernik, Larry Elmore, Val Lakey Lindahn, Sergey Poyarkov and Rob Prior.

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY WARRIOR

  • Born March 29, 1968 – Lucy Lawless

(8) CROWNED WITH LAURELS. Alison Bechdel will be the next Vermont Cartoonist Laureate. If that name sounds familiar, then you’ve doubtless heard of the Bechdel Test named for her. The test — whether a work of fiction features at least two women or girls who talk to each other about something other than a man or boy – first appeared in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985.

Next Thursday, April 6, Edward Koren will pass the torch — er, laurels — to his successor, Alison Bechdel, as Vermont Cartoonist Laureate. In a ceremony at the Statehouse, the longtime Bolton resident, creator of the strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” and author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic will become the third cartoonist laureate in the only state to regularly appoint one. The initiative originated with the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, the professional school founded by James Sturm and Michelle Ollie 10 years ago. Bechdel succeeds New Yorker cartoonist and Brookfield resident Koren, who in turn succeeded Vermont’s very first cartoonist laureate, James Kochalka of Burlington.

“It seemed obvious she could have been the choice from the get-go — we’re lucky to have so many great cartoonists in the state,” says Sturm of selecting Bechdel. “Besides all her accolades and fame, she’s really a cartoonist’s cartoonist. Cartooning is just essential to who she is and how she makes sense of the world.”

(9) MORE SCALZI BOOK TOUR STALKERS. There is now a “Johan Kalsi” YouTube channel and a second stalker video for it to host.

Made out to “Ted” (Theodore Beale) a.k.a Vox Day, John Scalzi encounters another unidentified member of the Dread Ilk, this time in Dallas, TX

 

(10) CH-CHING! Meanwhile, Nick Mamatas has discovered Bookscan is part of the vast conspiracy, or is accurately reporting sales of The Collapsing Empire, (probably the latter.)

(11) PLUG-INS, Roll on cyberpunk: Elon Musk creates brain-electrode firm.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has launched Neuralink, a start-up which aims to develop technology that connects our brains to computers.

A report from the Wall Street Journal, later confirmed in a tweet by Mr Musk, said the company was in its very early stages and registered as a “medical research” firm.

The company will develop so-called “neural lace” technology which would implant tiny electrodes into the brain.

The technique could be used to improve memory or give humans added artificial intelligence. …

Specialists in the field envision a time when humans may be able to upload and download thoughts.

(12) ON THE GRIPPING HAND. While Musk’s scientists are coming up with next-generation advances, here’s what’s available today – and it’s pretty amazing. “Paralyzed Man Uses Thoughts To Control His Own Arm and Hand”.

First, surgeons implanted two electrode arrays in Kochevar’s brain. The electrodes detect signals coming from areas of his brain that once controlled his right hand and arm.

“We have an algorithm that sort of transforms those neural signals into the movements he intended to make,” says Robert Kirsch, a professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western.

But movement requires muscles. So doctors also implanted electrodes in muscles that control his arm and hand movements.

The final result was a system that could determine which movements Kochevar wanted to perform, then electrically stimulate the appropriate muscles in his arm.

(13) LEARNING CURVE. As part of getting enough English speakers in time for the Tokyo Olympics, Japan assigns Fawlty Towers and Red Dwarf as homework. Because you never know when it’s going to be necessary to tell someone they can’t drive a nail with a hamster.

Japan is struggling to make sure it has enough proficient English speakers when it hosts the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

And the classic BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers is being deployed by some teachers in an attempt to give Japanese students an example of spoken English – rather than focusing on written language and grammar.

Japan’s government and businesses want to use the Olympics to boost tourism and global trade and to present a positive image of Japan to the world.

So the government needs to ensure a supply of English speakers to be Olympic volunteers and work in the accommodation, tourism, and retail industries.

There is also a demand for professionals, such as doctors and nurses, to speak to visitors or competitors in English.

(14) BLOODSHED AND APPLE PIE. Two inseperable American traditions — Adrian Garro at Cut4.com says “Baseball is coming…and so are ‘Game of Thrones’ theme nights at MLB ballparks”.

This summer, fans of both baseball and GoT will have plenty to be excited about … because special Game of Thrones® theme nights are coming to ballparks around MLB — featuring commemorative collectibles, ticket packages, giveaways, special co-branded merchandise, social media events and a lot more.

MLB has staged promotions like this before — like, say, the trailer for “The Force Awakens” as reimagined by the Twins — but this will be on a whole other level.

HBO has yet to announce when Season 7 will get underway, but we do know it will be some time this summer. Currently, at least 19 teams are scheduled to participate, including the D-backs, Red Sox, Reds, White Sox, Astros, Dodgers, Royals, Marlins, Brewers, Twins, Athletics, Phillies, Pirates, Mariners, Giants, Cardinals, Rangers, Rays and Nationals.

Hold the door for more information coming soon about this partnership, which has to be the biggest news since Jon Snow coming back from … well, you know.

(15) OTHER MLB PROMOTIONS. Martin Morse Wooster also sent the link to Michael Clair’s article about this summer’s best Major League Baseball promotions because the author says the Noah-Syndergaard-as-Thor bobblehead is ranked as the number 1 giveaway by anybody this year.

In the original Marvel Comics, Thor inhabited Dr. Donald Blake’s body while on Earth. But that’s just a fictional story. In our actual universe, Thor inhabits Noah Syndergaard every fifth day. Thanks to the Mets and Marvel Comics, you can walk away with the depiction of this stunning transformation.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, David K.M. Klaus, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

109 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/29/17 “Scrolls! They Were Inwented By A Little Old Lady From Pixelgrad!”

  1. Might be first, might not be,,,

    (9) MORE SCALZI BOOK TOUR STALKERS: don’t these fucking idiots have a clue that Scalzi earned more in a day of book sales that their hero will ever earn as a novelist? And I use ‘novelist’ instead of pitiful deluded vindictive idiot only because it’s shorter…

  2. “Ha! Is this the Ted I’m thinking of?”

    “Which Ted are you thinking of?”

    “There are so many Teds.”

    LOL. Trolls can’t lay a glove on John Scalzi. Unless it’s a long glove that would complete his Regency dress.

  3. It’s only a pixel moon
    Scrolling over a phosphor sea
    But it wouldn’t be virtual
    If you’d advert to me.

  4. Now everybody’s saying that there’s nobody shadier
    Than the little old lady from Pixelgradia
    She’s scrolling fast, she’s scrolling hard
    She’s the terror of Pixelgradia Boulevard

    Go granny go granny go granny go!

  5. (4) CHANGELINGS.
    “Slow-paced Genre Realism” is the kindest thing I could say about that book. It is slow-paced, all right. 🙄

  6. 3) That’s an interesting restriction on getting the prize. Generally fair enough, but i wonder what happens when they give the peace prize to a political prisoner?

  7. Fifth checkbox!

    9- Pathetic by proxy doesn’t make it less pitiful. Pretty amazing that Scalzi’s autograph means so much though.

  8. Eric and I were at the Hiroshima memorial last year (did I tell this story already?) It was packed with Japanese school groups–middle schoolers mostly. On the day we were there, I was almost the only white person there. I felt really uncomfortable because I thought “they must be looking over at me and thinking ‘why did your country do this to us?'”

    The kids were all carrying little workbooks they had to fill out, and apparently those workbooks had an optional section “in case you find a foreigner,” where they were supposed to ask us some questions in English. Very, very few of the kids were that brave, but one boy came up to me, said hello, and asked a couple of anodyne questions. (E.g. “Have you enjoyed visiting Hiroshima?”)

    He was surprised (and visibly relieved) that I could speak Japanese, but then his classmates immediately wanted to talk to me. They swarmed me and asked: “What do you think about Donald Trump?” and “He isn’t any good, is he?” (I told them I didn’t like him either, but that no matter what happened, America and Japan would still be friends.)

    But, afterwards, I had to laugh. To those kids, the bombing was ancient history. Current events were far more interesting.

  9. (11 & 12) If my brain was connected to the internet, would I be super-smart or super-distracted (and plagued by pop-up ads, fake news, and band width issues)? Is faster always better for a brain? I recall Le Guin saying something about how writing slows the mind to a comprehensible pace. Changing how you communicate changes how you think, and I’m not sure speeding the process up would be a blessing.
    But the ability to move a paralyzed hand, sweet.

  10. (1) Hey! I knew enough to vote in 2 of the 3 categories. Go me.

    (4) I dunno about her new genre idea zzzzzzz, but the story of hers mentioned was very good.

    (8) Well deserved, I’d say.

    (9) The omega males who are spending their own money and time trying to prop up the ego of a failing sad, strange little man absolutely do NOT realize a) how pathetic they look and b) how badly they’re getting pwned. It’s absolutely effortless for Scalzi to counter-troll them and win without them even knowing it. And then they kindly put up the videos so everyone can see how clueless they are.

    (10) Scalzi will have to dry his tears with $100 bills.

    (13) Really? So they think exposing them to Lister’s speech pattern and vocabulary is going to make them more intelligible to the English-speaking world?

    (14) Hmmm, my local team is doing this, and I have a baseball-loving friend who can get cheap tickets.

  11. (13) LEARNING CURVE.

    Not surprised, we used Fawlty Towers in school too and some other John Cleese films. Swedish and brittish humour are very much alike.

    Was not swamped by japanese students at my visits to Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but for a while I became a tourist attraction at Indonesias Borodbudur. Seems to be a common spot for indonesian classes to interview foreigners.

  12. Aaron on March 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm said:
    For those interested in this sort of thing, I reviewed Kelly Sue DeConnick’s graphic story Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike.

    I love DeConnick’s work, and this series is yet another example why.

    Ooh, I just bought that.

  13. (1) GEMMELL LONGLIST VOTING DEADLINE

    I can’t remember what I voted for, but it was probably City of Blades or Obelisk Gate.

    (2) MAKING BOOK

    That’d be an interesting choice, but “popular with punters” doesn’t sound like a very reliable metric to me. I don’t think I’ve ever watched her in anything, but Fleabag seems to have been a bit of a critical hit.

    (9) MORE SCALZI BOOK TOUR STALKERS

    Hmmm, doing the same thing again even though it didn’t get the desired result the first time? I’m sure I’ve seen that pattern of behaviour somewhere before…

  14. (9) I would say “you’d think they’d learn, eventually,” but the available evidence shows otherwise. Spock’s line from TWOK about indicated patterns seems more apt, if perhaps overly generous.

  15. Hampus Eckerman: (13) LEARNING CURVE. Not surprised, we used Fawlty Towers in school too and some other John Cleese films. Swedish and brittish humour are very much alike.

    This kind of surprises me, because people taught English as a second language using these shows are likely to speak English which is comprehensible to only a segment of the British population and to almost none of the American population.

    But the humor no doubt helps in terms of motivation for learning.

  16. lurkertype: And then they kindly put up the videos so everyone can see how clueless they are.

    I know, right? Why Puppies would want to broadcast their ineptness and cluelessness in this way is just unfathomable to me. They haven’t already made themselves look stupid enough, I guess? 🙄

  17. @ Kevin: C.S. Friedman took a shot at that concept in This Alien Shore, and IMO did a pretty good job. In her future universe, being connected to the Outernet is very like today’s Internet, only with a brain interface. It’s a constant battle between advertisers and people who don’t want pop-up ads everywhere they look.

  18. Not being a Dead Elk I would at least consider getting Scalzi to autograph a nice picture of him in a frock. It was a good frock.
    The main reason I wouldn’t have him sign a physical copy of Teddy’s screed, and so see what witty things he might add to the inscription, is that it would involve giving money to Teddy. Also, that by the time I got to do it, it would be an old joke of course.

  19. JJ:

    “This kind of surprises me, because people taught English as a second language using these shows are likely to speak English which is comprehensible to only a segment of the British population and to almost none of the American population.”

    Fawlty Towers is not that bad, as far as I remember and neither is Clockwise that I also remember we were shown.

    Otherwise, I think its a matter of active vs passive vocabulary. Yes, we might pick up some words that are incomprehensible for some americans, but if they don’t get regular use, they will stay in our passive vocabulary. And the difference between active and passive vocabulary is much, much bigger than for a native speaker.

    And we need those words to appreciate more brittish humour. 😉

  20. (9) This seems the equivalent of those people who ask for “Merry Christmas” to be written on their Starbucks cups.

    Apologies to Flanders and Swan:
    it’s a satellite moon,
    a pixelized tune.
    The scroll on the lake’s a decoy.

  21. Something in comments made me think of the Helnwein painting of James Dean on the Scrollevard of Broken Links, which led me to Dean’s film:

    Pixel without a Cause

    which is kind of random.

  22. Now (4) is bugging me. I’m sure I remember that book too…

    (And I’m pretty sure it’s not M. K. Wren’s A Gift Upon The Shore)

  23. Re baseball:

    Thor is a Met? Talk about the unworthy Thor..

    RE: GOT and baseball: Mur Lafferty for a couple of seasons of watching the Durham Bulls (yes those) was livetweeting games she attended under the fiction of #sansaball. Was fun to follow.

  24. Most of the times when I’ve been randomly interviewed by foreign students happened at home. The exception was in Turku, Finland, but that time I was an object in their scavenger hunt (they needed a foreigner to show the upperclassmen, who made me show a passport) rather than an interview subject as such.

  25. Just as an FYI, I keep getting 400 messages (that is, one message headed “400,” not twenty score of messages) and “bad command” and such. At first, it didn’t keep me from posting and replying, and I kept forgetting to mention it. Today, any link I click gets me the message.

    That’s in Chrome. I just managed to invoke Firefox to send this, so that may be a clue to my future, which seems to consist of switching from one broken browser to another to avoid some proximate disfunction. I haven’t seen anyone else with the problem, though. Just me?

  26. Seems more like a hockey guy.

    He used to play polo, but Mjolnir kept turning the ball into a pile of smoking ash.

    (And Odin kept getting sent off till they could figure out whether a horse like that was against the rules or not.)

  27. @Kip W

    Usually a 400 means a browser side problem. Hard to say what though without digging. One thing you could try is clearing your browser cache.

    That said I’ve been seeing a small surge of database timeouts over the last 2 – 3 weeks. Those are more likely server side but could be at my end too.

  28. (13) There is too much pixels on thouse trays”

    @JJ:

    “This kind of surprises me, because people taught English as a second language using these shows are likely to speak English which is comprehensible to only a segment of the British population and to almost none of the American population.”

    Mmh , I learned mainly thorugh cartoons (Inspector Gadget, Transformners) etc and my teachers all spoke American English. The problems occured when we went to England and I had a hard time understanding anything. I was genuine surprised that English could sound so different. I think its good to expose learners to different dialects.
    (Germany heavenly dubs movies though, so normally you didnt get much exposure through that media. Dont know about japan though).

  29. Germany heavenly dubs movies though

    I think you’re overselling it.

    Dont know about japan though

    They’re mostly dubbers too.

  30. Mark on March 30, 2017 at 5:49 am said:
    (10) CH-CHING!

    In which Scalzi reveals how deep the conspiracy goes.

    I look forward to seeing how Vox Day spins this as further proof of Scalzi’s failing career.

    I actually finished The Collapsing Empire yesterday, having been spurred into purchasing and reading it by VD’s antics. It’s a good, fun read with Scalzi’s trademark snappy (and at times very funny) dialogue.

  31. @rob_matic

    I assume the TV deal will be taken as proof of the whole entertainment industry being “converged” or some such.

    It’s a good, fun read with Scalzi’s trademark snappy (and at times very funny) dialogue.

    That’s pretty much exactly what I thought about the book too.

  32. 9) “These are the worst Ted Talks ever.”

    13) I can’t be the only one almost paralyzed with the idea of an entire class full of Japanese repeating ‘smeghead’ over and over…

  33. @rob_matic VD’s take will be something something fake news Tor can’t even game NYT list fake TV options ARISTOTLE conspiracy victory something something. Except less coherent.

    Seems a very solid debut to me, but I guess I am part of the conspiracy.

  34. In a Meredith Moment, Elizabeth A. Lynn’s Dragon’s Winter is on sale for 0.99 cents at the usual suspects. The Year’s Best SF and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 4-Strahan (ed) is also on sale for $1.99 as well.

    Of possibly peripheral interest here, The Essential W.P. Kinsella is on sale for $1.99 at Amazon.

  35. @3: and NPR reports Dylan was looking back at his roots when Stockholm was trying to get a response from him.

    @5: You’re sure the ghost isn’t included? I suppose a lawyer would argue that the precedent of “The Canterville Ghost” doesn’t apply on this side of the pond…

    @bookworm1398: the Peace Prize is given by a separate committee, which may have its own rules.

    @Hampus (re language learning): fascinating. I’m old enough that we didn’t have that option (the only “media” were purposed filmstrips, which were deadly dull), although my unintentionally-immersive year abroad did include Asterix and Lucky Luke (which weren’t considered serious enough for US schools, despite the way the schools played at teaching languages).

    @GSLamb: obscure, but very cute.

    @Hampus Eckerman (re Thor): you’re not allowed to throw things in hockey; someone who can throw what nobody else can is an obvious pitcher to US eyes.

  36. I recently read an article by Simon Owens on how tough things are for midlist authors.

    I write computer books and have the good fortune to see them stocked at Barnes & Noble for a long time — longer than a year when the subject matter is still current.

    I was talking to a midlist SF/F author once who said that his novels could be at B&N as little as three weeks before they were sent back and no longer ordered. (I think he said the cover was torn off and sent back, not the entire book, but I’m foggy on that detail.)

    Does anyone know if this is true? Three weeks is an incredibly short time for a novel to have a chance to prove itself.

  37. @Greg Hullender: 30 years ago, the university I was working at hosted several dozen (at least) Japanese teachers who were in the States to polish their English. They were apparently assigned a scavenger hunt list to encourage them to talk with as many Americans as possible (they had to find (as I recall) someone who had a sister, someone who had visited Niagara Falls, etc.). Very nice folks – I enjoyed talking with them.

    P.S. Thanks Mike for picking my Pixel Scroll title. I’m very pleased.

  38. Speaking of Meredith Moments, had everyone noticed that the Night Vale novel was in the Amazon UK spring sale for only 99p?

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