Pixel Scroll 7/27/2017 Your Pixeled Pal who’s Fun to Scroll With

(1) FILLING A KNEAD. A German company is working to make bread-baking in the ISS happen: “3, 2, 1 … Bake Off! The Mission To Make Bread In Space”.

Crumbs may seem harmless here on Earth, but they can be a hazard in microgravity — they could get in an astronaut’s eye, or get inhaled, causing someone to choke. Crumbs could even float into an electrical panel, burn up or cause a fire.

That’s part of the reason why it was a very big deal in 1965 when John Young pulled a corned beef sandwich out of his pocket as he was orbiting the earth with Gus Grissom.

“Where did that come from?” Grissom asked Young.

“I brought it with me,” Young said.

Young took a bite and then microgravity took over, spreading bread crumbs throughout the spacecraft.

Today, instead of bread, astronauts usually eat tortillas: They don’t crumble in the same way and they’re easy to hold with one hand as the astronaut floats about.

But for many Germans, tortillas just don’t cut it. So when a man named Sebastian Marcu heard that German Astronaut Alexander Gerst is returning to the International Space Station in 2018, that got him thinking: “Shouldn’t we do something to enable him to have fresh bread in space?”

(2) BLOWN UP. The inflatable ISS module is still going strong, and may lead to complete inflatable space stations: “After A Year In Space, The Air Hasn’t Gone Out Of NASA’s Inflated Module”.

The module is called BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, and it has been attached to the International Space Station since April last year.

Expandable modules allow NASA to pack a large volume into a smaller space for launch. They’re not made of metal, but instead use tough materials like the Kevlar found in bulletproof vests.

The station crew used air pressure to unfold and expand the BEAM, but it’s wrong to think about BEAM as expanding like a balloon that could go “pop” if something punctured it.

NASA’s Jason Crusan says there is a better analogy: “It’s much like the tire of your car.”

Chip Hitchcock calls it, “Another example of science bypassing SF — it looks like we may never have the space-based construction workers featured by writers from Heinlein to Steele.”

(3) BECOMING MARTIANS. Click to see a video of a long-term simulation of life on Mars: “On a mission to Mars (with Hawaii stopover)”

Researchers living near the active Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa are six months into an eight-month mission which simulates what it’s like to live on Mars. We asked how “living on Mars” – in close quarters – has been so far.

(4) OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS. Fantastic Trains: An anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders is taking submissions until Midnight September 30, 2017.

Edited by Jerome Stueart and Neil Enock, the anthology focuses on speculative fiction stories of trains—fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, set in any time, any place—and will be released by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing in the spring of 2018.

Stories must be previously unpublished, in English, between 1,000-5,000 words.

Authors are invited to structurally play with some ‘locomotifs’ that will add interesting connections to these disparate and individual stories.

For more information, check out the call for submissions.

(5) CLARION. The 2018 Clarion Summer Workshop instructors for 2018  will be:

  • Week 1 – Daniel Abraham
  • Week 2 – Ken MacLeod
  • Week 3 – Yoon Ha Lee
  • Week 4 – Karen Lord
  • Week 5 – Karen Joy Fowler
  • Week 6 – Ellen Datlow

(6) PRESS GANG. Boskone 55 has announced that Harlan Ellison biographer Nate Segaloff as the NESFA Press Guest.

(7) SORRY GUV. I guess this just now came to the top of his To-Do list <rolleyes> — “Dick Van Dyke sorry for ‘atrocious cockney accent’ in Mary Poppins”.

Dick Van Dyke has apologised for the “most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema” more than half a century after his role in the 1964 Disney classic Mary Poppins.

The US actor played chimney-sweep Bert in the film, and has been the subject of much teasing from fans about his famously off-radar accent.

Van Dyke, 91, was chosen this week by Bafta to receive the Britannia award for excellence in television. Speaking afterwards, he said: “I appreciate this opportunity to apologise to the members of Bafta for inflicting on them the most atrocious cockney accent in the history of cinema.”

… Van Dyke recently announced that he would be doing “a little song and dance number” in the Mary Poppins sequel. He will play the part of Mr Dawes Jr, chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary bank, alongside Emily Blunt as the nanny extraordinaire in Mary Poppins Returns.

Van Dyke rose to prominence in films including Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as his 60s TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. His wide-spanning career has earned him five Emmys, a Tony, a Grammy, the SAG lifetime achievement award and induction into the Television Hall of Fame.

But he has previously spoken about his turn as Bert, saying he would never be allowed to forget it. “People in the UK love to rib me about my accent, I will never live it down,” he said. “They ask what part of England I was meant to be from and I say it was a little shire in the north where most of the people were from Ohio.”

(8) DIRECTING TOLKIEN. Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski confirms that he has been hired to direct a Hollywood biopic on British fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien: “Finnish director Karukoski attached to US Tolkien movie”

A biopic based on the coming-of-age of writer J.R.R. Tolkien is to be made by the same Hollywood studio as the recent War for the Planet of the Apes. It could also be Finnish director Dome Karukoski’s international debut.

(9) TED TALK. Howard Hendrix passed along the link to the TED talk he presented in April at UC Riverside, “since it’s sfnal, concerns Phil Dick (among other matters), and was presented by a science fiction wirter (me).” It was just posted by TED last week. “Saving Private Mind: Madness, Privacy, Consciousness | Howard Hendrix”

Society is not a prerequisite for the existence of privacy. Privacy is a prerequisite for the existence of society. Howard Hendrix’s TEDxUCR talk explores the philosophical, legal, neurological and evolutionary contexts for understanding the relationship between privacy and individual human consciousness — particularly through the lens of “madness” in the lives and works of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick and Hendrix’s younger brother, Vincent John “Jay” Hendrix.

 

(10) THEY HAVE A WORD FOR IT. John Hawthorne helped create a resource on the topic of “amazing words that don’t exist in English.”

I recently reached out to over 150 language learning websites and facilities and asked them to give me some of their opinions on what are the most interesting foreign words that are not found in English. I took all my research and gave it to my colleague Adrian who made a list of 35 of the best words.

You can read all the takeaways from their research right here. These are three examples:

Antier/Anteayer (Spanish)

Can we all agree that saying, “The day before yesterday,” is a complete waste of words? So many words for such a simple concept. Those who speak Spanish have a much simpler version: “Antier”.

When did you last talk to your mom? Antier.

Desvelado (Spanish)

Insomnia. The tossing. The turning. The inability to fall asleep. That feeling of being sleep deprived is called “desvelado” in Spanish. It’s that feeling of exhaustion that comes after a terrible night’s sleep.

You need five cups of coffee. Why? Because desvelado.

Tuerto (Spanish)

What do you call a man with one eye who isn’t also a pirate? Tuerto. It seems like this word would have rather limited usage unless you work in a BB gun factory or something.

But you do have to admit, have a single word to describe someone with one eye is pretty fantastic.

(11) EARL GREY LISTENS. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, in “My Current Podcast Playlist”, provides an excellent survey of more than 15 sff, gaming and writing podcasts.

Not Now, I’m Reading: A new podcast just started by Chelsea of the Reading Outlaw and Kay Taylor Rae which focuses on reviewing genre books and media. As a keen reader of romance, I appreciate that their focus is a little wider than just SFF and the way they’re unapologetic about their passions.

Overinvested: Gavia Baker-Whitelaw and Morgan Leigh Davies review movies, TV shows and comics. Most are genre, though not all. These ladies are savvy critics who really know their stuff and are also not afraid to love material they know is rubbish.

The Skiffy and Fanty Show: This Hugo-nominated podcast is headed up by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink with a large cast of co-hosts. They do multiple segments of varying kinds, including signal boosts, interviews and Torture Cinema (wherein a panel reviews a movie deemed to be awful by pop culture).

(12) SWARMING SHARKES. Are these the final transmission of the Shadow Clarke Jury? The Clarke Award winner, Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, was announced today.

Awards, it seems to me, work in unusual ways in the science fiction community. They link to an existing community of fans, writers and publishers that has its own particular shape and weight. Fandom is changing. Having spent much of the twentieth century on the edges of literary culture, what was once marginal is now thoroughly mainstream. The success of major titles such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, promoted by cinematic adaptations, has broadened the pool of readers—but simultaneously brought pressures of its own, the pressure to sell and sell big, to build blockbuster brands.

Awards fit awkwardly into this changing space. Are they primarily markers of prestige? Are they handed out by fan communities to honor the successes of their own? Do they chart new trends? Whereas winning the Man Booker Prize can have huge ramifications for an author’s career—and their sales—this isn’t really the case for science fiction awards. Many writers and editors will tell you that even the Hugos in most cases don’t result in a substantial change in sales numbers. One case, oddly enough, where it did was Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem which won the 2015 award for best novel, a year that was mired down by the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies slate-creation. In fact, it may well have been the high volume of conversation in online circles surrounding those Hugo awards that inadvertently contributed to the sales boost. Certainly, journalists could sense a story and so the firestorm may well have provoked media attention that simply wouldn’t either ways have focused on the Hugos.

And if awards themselves occupy an ill-defined space then the relationship between awards and criticism is even murkier. Sometimes critics participate in the process of choosing award winners but just as frequently that role falls to the fans themselves, through various membership and voting systems. Fans of a genre that has always had a popular element—almost by definition—and has for much of its existence been barred from prestige culture may well have a justified suspicion of criticism. And yet just as science fiction is going mainstream, it is also entering areas where it was previously barred: there are several degrees that include science fiction literature within the UK and the field itself has developed through prizes like the Clarke Awards and through institutions like the British Science Fiction Association.

What they thought should win —

As regards the Sharke winner, the race was between Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station, and Martin MacInnes’s Infinite Ground. But whilst Infinite Ground enjoyed passionate support from two or three jurors in particular, and Central Station ran a close second for pretty much the entire jury, in the end it was The Underground Railroad that came through as the clear winner. ‘The Whitehead is a phenomenal book,’ Vajra said, summing up our discussions. ‘In my reading, the very core of science fiction is not novelty, but freedom: that is, emancipation. By this measure The Underground Railroad is as core as core science fiction can possibly be, and the extent to which this is contested is an indictment of the state of discourse in science fiction itself. I would like to see it win all the awards and be firmly planted in this soil so that a better science fiction could grow from here. It’s not Whitehead that needs it so much as the rest of us.’

What they predicted would win —

We all felt that whilst Ninefox Gambit is very much a traditional space opera, it also presents some interesting variations on that tried-and-tested formula by being more ambitious in terms of its concept, more inventive in its use of language, more diverse in relation to its character demographic. For all these reasons – together with the fact that we all, to varying degrees, found things in this novel to admire – we came eventually to the conclusion that Ninefox Gambit would be the title inside that envelope:

(13) THE BOOKER. The 2017 Man Book Prize longlist was announced yesterday. Mark-kitteh says, “I see several books of genre interest in the Booker. Underground Railroad, 4 3 2 1, and Exit West. (There may be more, I’m not familiar with them all).” You can add Lincoln in the Bardo, for sure.

Title Author (nationality) (imprint)

  • 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
  • Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
  • History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
  • Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
  • Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
  • The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury)
  • Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

(14) TOOTHSOME. Once the Sharkes wrap up, people will have to depend on Syfy for their finnish entertainment: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.

With much of America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for a global sharknado, Fin and his family must travel around the world to stop them.

 

(15) STARSHIP PRANKS. Fox showed this version of their trailer for The Orville  at Comic-Con.

THE ORVILLE is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. In the 25th century, Earth is part of the Planetary Union, a far-reaching, advanced and mostly peaceful civilization with a fleet of 3,000 ships.

 

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Hampus Eckerman, Mark-kitteh, John King Tarpinian, Paul Weimer, Martin Morse Wooster, and Michael J. Walsh for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (Hopefully I’ve used this only once…).]

86 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/27/2017 Your Pixeled Pal who’s Fun to Scroll With

  1. @Clack: Yes, that the story avoided the more obvious pitfallls in a time travelling story is definitly a plus!

    So whats it gonna be, Kid? Calendrical Rot or Diachronic shear?

  2. So after all the sound, fury, and angst, the Sharke and Clarke choices were the same?

  3. Heinlein used “hight” in “Glory Road” (and perhaps elsewhere).

    “Pixeled they were, and Scrollden-Eyed”

  4. Hello from a lurker!

    First, here’s a link to the results for the Thriller Awards, which I don’t think Mike has pointed to – why would he? Except this year there’s an sf connection. http://wwwshotsmagcouk.blogspot.ca/2017/07/thriller-awards-2017.html

    Also, I haven’t done much 2017 reading yet and I’m looking for recommendations. I’ve seen some Best of the half-year lists, but they’re just too long. Like this one:
    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-best-science-fiction-fantasy-books-of-2017-so-far/

    So, what sff have you *loved* so far this year? My short list is Wells’ All systems red (Murderbot); Hobb’s Assassin’s fate (last Fitz and the Fool novel), and Megan Whalen Turner’s Thick as thieves (though not enough Gen).

  5. Every language had words other languages don’t. The German word I miss most in English is not “Schadenfreude” (which is not all that common and has a perfectly acceptable English equivalent in “gloating”), but “Spießer”, a derogatory term for a very conservative and small-minded person. Because there’s no English term I can spit out with the same disdain as “Spießer”.

    We do have a word in English – schadenfreude! At least it’s passed into the vernacular in these parts, for those occasions when mere gloating isn’t enough. “Spießer” sounds a little too much like the name of the recently fired/resigned White House spokesperson (or whatever his title was), Sean Spicer.
    My current linguistic hobby is collecting terms for the bed of an intermittently flowing stream, something needed a lot more in the American west than in Britain. “Arroyo” is popular in California, while the Arizonans seem to prefer “wash”.

  6. “Arroyo” is popular in California, while the Arizonans seem to prefer “wash”.
    You’ll also find “wash” in southern California: Big and Little Tujunga Washes come immediately to mind. (Big Tujunga is the size of a small river, even if it’s usually dry. It’s the one that Hansen Dam is on, in L.A.)

  7. Eve on July 28, 2017 at 11:12 am said:

    So, what sff have you *loved* so far this year?

    Loved
    A Conjuring of Light (third book in a series)
    City of Miracles (third book in a series)
    Borne
    Six Wakes

    Fun reads
    Kangaroo Too
    The Collapsing Empire

    Didn’t care for
    Revenger
    Relics
    NY 2140

    Meant to read Mira Grant’s Final Girls and ended up with Final Girls by Riley Sager.

  8. What have I loved this year? (n.b. This is obviously stuff I’ve read in 2017 — I’m not sure if I’ve read anything published in 2017 yet …)

    Every Heart a Doorway
    Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe
    Savage Season (Joe Lansdale’s first Hap & Leonard novel)
    Ninefox Gambit
    Naamah’s Blessing (although I keep forgetting how to spell “Naamah”)
    D’Aulaires’ Norse Myths and D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths
    Stephen King’s IT
    The Gentlemen Bastard books
    Swords Against Darkness (Paula Guran’s new sword & sorcery reprint anthology)

  9. I’m really just getting started on 2017 reading. So far, I’d have to say my favorites are Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire (which suffers a bit from first-book-of-the-series syndrome: more setup than story) and Spinrad’s The People’s Police which literally had me laughing out loud, but may be too humorous for some people to consider, and too political for others.

    I have some doubts whether I’ll end up nominating either one, since I have a lot more reading to do, but I thought they were both excellent.

    (ETA: Obviously, I’m covering published in 2017 here.)

  10. Re:Words I can recommend the book “Lingo” by Gaston Dorren, its a breezy introduction into the European languages (including some minority languages) and it ends every chapter with some english loan words from that language and some words that “should” become English. IIRC was the German one “Feierabend” (the time were you rest from work) or even “Feierabendbier” (the beer you drink during that time).
    The genre stuff I enjoyed most were the wayward children and Dusk to dawn from Seanon Mcguire and Rise and fall of Dodo, I suppose.
    The best novel Ive read this year was 4321 by Auster, but thats not really Genre and is also very much not for everyone.

  11. Published in 2017? So far, just the conclusions to two trilogies (Peter Newman’s The Seven and Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Miracles – both of which stick their landings pretty neatly), and Raven Stratagem of course, and “T. Kingfisher’s” collection Jackalope Wives and Other Stories. And I regret nothing, with any of those.

  12. Obligatory snark: fresh-baked bread in space? That’s even more fantastic than taverns in snow! 😀

  13. @Eve

    Hello, and good question!

    I’ll join you in some delight about Murderbot. Another delightful novella from earlier in the year was Passing Strange by Ellen Klages, although it’s only marginally SF.
    My favorite novel of the year has probably been The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata, although the latest Stross and Scalzi’s have been fun as well. Oh, and Tenfox Gambit was awesome, obviously.
    Hmm, I have quite a backlog of non-Hugo reading to write up.

    Borne didn’t quite do it for me. I need to ponder a bit more on exactly why, but for starters I don’t think the landing was stuck.

  14. @Eve

    Six Wakes has been hands down my favourite novel of 2017 so far. I also highly enjoyed The Stars Are Legion, and am continuing to cultivate a love-to-hate relationship with Ada Palmer in Seven Surrenders (seriously, I have no idea how I feel about this series except that I need to keep reading it at all costs.)

    In novellas, All Systems Red is fabulous but I’ve been disappointed by some other hyped things this year. Reenu-you by Michele Tracy Berger and Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor (if you liked the first Binti) are great. “And then there were (N-one)” by Sarah Pinsker is also wonderful and i keep forgetting it’s a novella as it was published in Uncanny.

    Raven Stratagem is the second queued read on my Kindle, and based on the almost universal positivity I’ve seen, I’m really looking forward to it. Before that, however, I am planning to level up in Filer lore and read the God Stalker chronicles 🙂

  15. Aside from obsessively rereading astolat’s Witcher fic (er, if you go looking, read the tags and rating first)…

    The Power by Naomi Alderman, which I can’t say I enjoyed exactly (not that sort of book) but was interesting and I was still thinking about it quite awhile afterwards.

    And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker, recommended by Filers, which I thought was a very good novella.

    The Disney Read-Watch/Watch-Watch by Mari Ness, which is totally going on my ballot for Related Work if the series rule applies in that category (last post was January), and absorbed me completely. Really interesting stuff.

    And… some other stuff which I can’t remember right now.

  16. Meredith:

    And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker, recommended by Filers, which I thought was a very good novella.

    I really liked that one and have been recommending it to a lot of folks.

  17. 10) No one should be surprised that I have Opinions about this.
    – “The day before yesterday” = 2 days ago.
    – “The meal between lunch and dinner” – Don’t the Brits call this “tea”? Also, I take issue with their definition of brunch as “the meal between breakfast and lunch”. It’s more like a combination of breakfast and lunch, a full meal that substitutes for both.
    – Isn’t “pena ajena” the same thing as “fremdschamen”? The definitions seem to be more or less identical.
    – “Slampadato”… I’d be inclined to call that “pre-cancerous” because the odds of such a person developing skin cancer are so high. But that’s just me.

    And while we’re on the topic of language, I’ll offer up this delightful little neologism I encountered a few years back: “Dudoyer” – to apostrophize someone as “Dude”. (For those not getting it, It’s funny because it’s a takeoff on the French tutoyer, to address someone in the familiar form as an insult.)

    @ Kurt, re ORVILLE: Would you like a saucer of cream to go with that? 🙂
    (Not disagreeing, mind you.)

    @ Marshall: Or “Puerto Rico”, which should have 5 syllables (although the first two are often slurred together a bit). It always makes me blink when I hear someone say “Porterico”, which doesn’t even get the vowel right!

    @ JJ: The best English definition I’ve heard for “schadenfreude” is “the slightly guilty pleasure derived from watching an asshole who desperately deserves it get a long-awaited comeuppance.”

  18. Hey, Mike! I’ve got a comment stuck in moderation. Don’t know why.

    Also, Lady Business recommended this post with a collection of links for people who want to write about Africa and African culture without putting their foot in it. It’s directed to fanfic writers, but I think it might be more broadly useful.

  19. There’s a few Scots words that have no direct translation, best known is probably dreich for our frequently damp, cold and dark days.

    Saw this one quoted recently: kalsarikännit. Allegedly a Finnish word which describes the “feeling when you are going to get drunk home alone in your underwear — with no intention of going out.” Probably because it’s gey dreich oot.

  20. @JAA: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

    I forget whether I mentioned this here or only elsewhere, but I’ve been on a minor side-quest to acquire those ebooks on the cheap over the past few months. Only one goes on sale for US$1.99 at a time, only for 24 hours, and with no predictable schedule. (Rather like chasing the castle in Krull, now that I think about it.) Anyway, I picked up the last one today, so now I can process the whole series for future reading!

    Before that, though, I’ve started reading an indie novel about a superhero with what I’ve dubbed lactokinesis: the ability to control milk. In the first battle, he uses a webshooter-like setup (with bladders incorporated into his suit) to use the stuff as an impact ball, a whip, and a blade (for impact, not cutting). The opening scene establishes him as lactose-intolerant, but since he doesn’t seem to need to drink the milk, I’m not sure why that’s a drawback. I suppose I’ll find out.

  21. ‘Skookum’ is used on Canada’s west coast to mean a lot of things, all positive but hard to pin down. A skookum boat may be well-made, fast, capacious, etc. The word comes from Chinook Jargon, a blended dialect born of contact between Europeans and First Nations peoples. In the context of SFF, all Hugo winners should be skookum in some way.
    Also, it’s just fun to say. Skookum.

  22. Yes, gloating is something you DO, and are personally involved with and possibly benefit directly from. Whereas schadenfreude is something you THINK, and don’t have to have any IRL involvement with.

    Like, gloating is when your brother says he’s going to whup you in a sportsball match and you win and say “I told you so”. Schadenfreude is when some holier than thou preacher gets caught with a rent boy and you read about it in the news and chuckle to yourself. (You might gloat afterwards if you’d predicted that.)

    So we need both words.

    I see and use hight and yclept in jest in places where they’d be understood. Like here amongst Filers, or scholars of Middle English.

    @Rob Thornton: “O the embarrassment, all die” is a construction some of my friends and I have used ever since that story came out. And for a few years, we’d even forgotten what story it was, till I found it in a collection.

    @Steven Silver: Tough call. I’d go with Peri, simply because we had to listen to her in so many episodes rather than just one two-hour movie. Also she was whiny and unhelpful, which Dick’s chimney sweep wasn’t.

    @Lin McAllister: How odd. “Arroyo” is what I’ve heard in California, far west Texas, and New Mexico, all surrounding Arizona. Could it be the influence of all the snowbirds from northeastern parts?

    You’d probably enjoy “Dictionary of the American West: Over 5,000 Terms and Western Expressions from AARIGAA! to Zopilote” by Win Blevins. It’s the best dictionary of Western (and the important divisions therein) terms I’ve found. Fun enough to read straight through. Having spent my entire life in what was yclept Nuevo Espana, I gotta admit to chuckling at the concept of even needing a definition of most of the terms, but then not everyone’s lucky enough to live in God’s country. I got it on Kindle. Includes Arroyo and Skookum.

    Stuff I’ve liked so far: Raven Stratagem, NY 2140, Murderbot, Collapsing Empire, Refrigerator Monologues (yas!), River of Teeth, Winter Tide. The last 3 really got me for various reasons.Gotta read more short work. Monstress vol. 2 in graphic novels.

  23. Current top five- no order

    Dreadnought – I change my mind. This is definitely number one.

    Always Human (webcomic, just completed)
    Dream Quest of Vellit Boe
    Windswept
    All Systems Red

  24. The day before yesterday has an English word – ereyesterday. Archaic, but still. I like it. The day after tomorrow is overmorrow. Both of them are genuinely useful on occasion (or they would be, if it wasn’t then immediately necessary to explain them).

  25. @lurkertype: Oh my!

    “For centuries, humanity has gazed up at the bright red planet in the night sky and dreamed of putting a man on a man on Mars,” said NASA acting administrator Robert Lightfoot Jr.

  26. @JohnAA: I’d probably tune in to the less-explicit parts. If Dr. Tingle hasn’t written this book already, I hope he’s writing it now. The scenario seems right from his oeuvre.

    @Jonathan Edelstein: Except the real Clarke judges didn’t bore us with self-contradictory pontification, nor did they install Two Minutes’ Hate against Becky Chambers. All of which I thank them for (but they should have picked Ninefox).

  27. I’m pretty sure that yclept appears in The Fairie Queen by Edmund Spenser but it’s been cough years since I studied it in college.

  28. Peer Sylvester, on July 28, 2017 at 12:58 am said:
    “The Rise and Fall of DODO” by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
    …The first two thirds or so it reads more like a Jasper FForde…

    You’ve convinced me to buy it. Mt Tsundoku rises.

  29. @Kevin Harkness – Skookum is Chinook Jargon for “strong” or “scary”. Skookum-Chuck, my favorite swear word, actually means rapids. Chuck is Chinook Jargon for water. Strong, scary water is white water on rivers. Skookum was also used to refer to wildmen, or what we might call Bigfoot, and demons or ghosts.

    I tried to teach myself Chinook Jargon as a child, but didn’t get far because of the lack of reference material available to me. Nowadays I might have more luck… Gutenberg.

  30. 10)

    Individual words are easy. Turkish has a tense that doesn’t exist in English – the hearsay past, used when you have no direct knowledge of a past event.

    Also, in the reverse direction, there is no word in Turkish for feather, which I always find odd.

  31. Stuff I’ve read so far this year that I’ve enjoyed bigly:

    All Systems Red – Martha Wells
    Lovecraft Country – Matt Ruff
    Summer in Orcus – T. Kingfisher
    Night Watch – Terry Pratchett
    Tea With the Black Dragon – R.A. MacAvoy
    The Imago Sequence and Other Stories – Laird Barron (somewhat torn on that one. Some great moody and/or Lovecraftian elements mixed in with a not-always-convincing cast of noirish thugs and decadent socialites)

  32. (5) There are two different workshops – Clarion in San Diego and Clarion West in Seattle. This announcement of instructors for next year is for Clarion West in Seattle. My friends who run or volunteer for Clarion West are very insistent on the distinction – can you edit the scroll to add “West” to the name in the cause of “disambiguation”?

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