Pixel Scroll 7/3/19 These Are The Pixels That Try Men’s Scrolls

(1) IN OPINIONS YET TO COME. Brooke Bolander is the latest sff author to pen a futuristic op-ed for the New York Times.

As Tor.com puts it –

Asking “Who Should Live in Flooded Old New York?” Bolander imagines a time in which it’s illegal to live in the flooded remains of NYC, with the only residents being those who are too poor to move elsewhere. In this future, Mr. Rogers’ theme song has turned into an “old folk song,” and “draconian federal regulations” punish those remaining, while millionaires running illegal tourism schemes in the city get off scot-free.

(2) WHAT TOR LEARNED FROM LIBRARY SALES EMBARGO. Jason Sanford’s analysis, “Does library ebook lending hurt book sales? Tor Books experiment reveals answers, may lead to new ebook lending terms”, is a free post at his Patreon page. 

Sanford interviewed Fritz Foy, president and publisher of Tom Doherty Associates, the unit of Macmillan that includes Tor, who shared “an unprecedented look at their embargo test….”

…To discover if library ebook lending was indeed hurting sales, Macmillan used their Minotaur imprint as a control group and Tor Books as an experimental group. The two groups have books which sold in similar patterns along with authors and book series which drove steady sales from year to year.

For the experiment Tor prohibited ebook sales to libraries until four months after a book’s release. After that date libraries could purchase the Tor ebooks. The control group Minotaur instituted no such restriction. (As a side-note, Foy said the there was never a plan to do a six-month embargo on ebook sales to libraries, as reported in that Good e-Reader article.)

Foy was surprised by the experiment’s stark results.

“All but one title we compared (in the Tor experiment group) had higher sales after the four month embargo on ebook sales to libraries,” he said. “And the only title where we didn’t see this happen had bad reviews. And when you looked at the control group, sales remained the same.”

(3) LOTR DIRECTOR. “‘The Lord Of The Rings’: J.A. Bayona To Direct Amazon Series”Deadline has the story.

Amazon Studios’ high-profile The Lord of the Rings TV series has made a key hire. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director Juan Antonio (J.A.) Bayona has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of the big-scope fantasy drama, following in the footsteps of Peter Jackson, who directed the feature adaptations of the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novels.

…Bayona’s first feature film, critically acclaimed thriller The Orphanage, executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, premiered to a 10-minute standing ovation at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and later won seven Goya Awards in Spain, including best new director.

Bayona most recently directed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide last year. He also directed the features The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones, as well as the first two episodes of Showtime’s hit series Penny Dreadful.

(4) LOTR LOCATION. And where will the series be filmed? Probably where you’d have predicted it would if you never heard about the plan for Scotland. Yahoo! Movies reports “Scotland loses out on lucrative ‘Lord of the Rings’ shoot over ‘Brexit uncertainty’, claims new report”.

Amazon’s $1.5 billion (£1.19bn) Lord of the Rings series looks set to begin filming in New Zealand this month, after producers reportedly got cold feet about shooting in Scotland.

The NZ Herald reports that a “huge” part of the series, said to be the most expensive TV show ever made, will be produced in Auckland, specifically at the Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios, with an official announcement coming this month. The report states that pre-production on the Amazon show has been based at the two studios for the last year.

Producers were also said to be considering Scotland as a production base, but New Zealand’s public-service radio broadcaster Radio New Zealand (Radio NZ), claims “the tumultuous Brexit situation hindered Scotland’s pitch”.

(5) RESNICK RETURNS TO FB. Mike Resnick gave Facebook readers a medical update about his frightening health news:

Sorry to be absent for a month. 4 weeks ago I was walking from one room to the next when I collapsed. Carol called the ambulance, and 2 days later I woke up in the hospital minus my large intestine. Just got home last night.

I don’t like growing old.

(6) TIDHAR PICKS BUNDLED. Storybundle announced the The 2019 World SF Bundle, curated by Lavie Tidhar:

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you’re feeling generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Afro SF V3 by Ivor W. Hartmann
  • The Apex Book of World SF 5 by Cristina Jurado and Lavie Tidhar
  • Nexhuman by Francesco Verso
  • Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus SIX more!

  • Escape from Baghdad! by Saad Z. Hossain
  • After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun
  • The Thousand Year Beach by TOBI Hirotaka
  • Slipping by Lauren Beukes
  • Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson
  • The Vanishing Kind by Lavie Tidhar

This bundle is available only for a limited time.

(7) JAMES WHITE AWARD. The judges for the 2019 James White Award will be Justina Robson, Chris Beckett and Donna Scott.

The competition is open to original, unpublished short stories of not more than 6,000 words by non-professional writers. The award, established in 2000, offers non-professional writers the opportunity to have their work published in Interzone, the UK’s leading sf magazine. The deadline for submissions was June 28. The winner will be announced in August.

(8) JUMANJI. The next sequel will be in theaters at Christmas.

In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • July 3, 1958 Fiend Without A Face premiered.
  • July 3, 1985 Back to the Future was released.
  • July 3, 1996 Independence Day debuted in theaters.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 3, 1898 E. Hoffmann Price. He’s most readily remembered as being a Weird Tales writer, one of a group that included Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith. He did a few collaborations, one of which was with H. P. Lovecraft, “Through the Gates of the Silver Key”. Another work, “The Infidel’s Daughter”, a satire on the Ku Klux Klan, also angered many Southern readers. (Died 1998.)
  • Born July 3, 1926 William Rotsler. An artist, cartoonist, pornographer and SF author. Well, that is his bio. Rotsler was a four-time Hugo Award winner for Best Fan Artist and one-time Nebula Award nominee. He also won a “Retro-Hugo” for his work in 1946 and was runner-up for 1951. He responsible for giving Uhura her first name, created “Rotsler’s Rules for Costuming”, popularized the idea fans wore propeller beanies and well, being amazing sounding. (Died 1997.)
  • Born July 3, 1927 Tim O’Connor. He was Dr. Elias Huer in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century for much of its run. Other genre appearances were on The Six Million Dollar ManThe Twilight Zone, The Outer LimitsWonder WomanKnight RiderStar Trek: The Next Generation and The Burning Zone. (Died 2018.)
  • Born July 3, 1927 Ken Russell. Altered States is his best known SF film but he’s also done The Devils, an historical horror film, and Alice in Russialand. Russell had a cameo in the film adaptation of Brian Aldiss’s novel Brothers of the Head by the directors of Lost in La Mancha. And, of course, he’s responsible for The Who’s Tommy. (Died 2012.)
  • Born July 3, 1937 Tom Stoppard, 82. Screenplay writer, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which is adjacent genre if not actually genre. Also scripted of course Brazil which he co-authored with Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeow. He also did the final Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade final rewrite of Jeffrey Boam’s rewrite of Menno Meyjes’s screenplay. And finally Shakespeare in Love which he co-authored with Marc Norman.
  • Born July 3, 1943 Kurtwood Smith, 76. Clarence Boddicker in Robocop, Federation President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and voiced Kanjar Ro in Green Lantern: First Flight. He’s got series appearances on Blue ThunderThe Terrible ThunderlizardsThe X-FilesStar Trek: Deep Space NineStar Trek: VoyagerMen in Black: The Series3rd Rock from the SunTodd McFarlane’s Spawn, Judtice League, Batman Beyond, Green Lantern and Beware the Batman. His last role was as Vernon Masters as the superb Agent Carter.
  • Born July 3, 1962 Tom Cruise, 57. I’m reasonably sure his first genre role was as Jack in Legend. Next up was Lestat de Lioncourt in Interview with the Vampire followed by being Ethan Hunt in the first of many Mission Impossible films. Then he was John Anderton in the abysmal Minority Report followed by Ray Ferrier in the even far more abysmal War of The Worlds. I’ve not seen him as Maj. William Cage in Edge of Tomorrow so I’ve no idea how good he or the film is. Alas then Nick Morton in, oh god, The Mummy

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) IT DON’T PAY TO BE IGNORANT. Not on Jeopardy! as Andrew Porter witnessed tonight:

In the category American Writers, the answer was, “In a story by this sci-fi master, ‘I Sing the Body Electric!’ is the title of a pamphlet for a robot grandmother.”

Wrong questions: “Who is Isaac Asimov?” and “Who is Robert Heinlein?”

(13) AURORA AWARDS. The 2019 Aurora Awards Voter Package is online, available to members of the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association.

The purpose of the Aurora Awards Voter Package is simple. Before you vote for the Aurora Awards this year, we want you to be able to read as much of the nominated work as possible, so you can make and informed decision about what is the best of the year. Please note: the package is only available while voting is open. Remember voting ends September 14, 2019 at 11:59:59 EDT!

The electronic versions of these Aurora Award nominated works are made available to you through the generosity of the nominees and publishers. We are grateful for their participation and willingness to share with CSFFA members. If you like what you read, please support the creators by purchasing their works, which are available in bookstores and online.

(14) EN ROUTE. John Hertz, while packing for his journey to Spikecon, paused to quote from the classics:

Farewell my friends, farewell my foes;
To distant planets Freddy goes;
To face grave perils he intends.
Farewell my foes, goodbye my friends.

(15) MORE BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ. At Tor.com, Gabriella Tutino publicized a list compiled by Reddit User einsiboy, creator of the TopRedditBooks site: “Here are the 100 Most Discussed Fantasy Books on Reddit”.  The Reddit link is here. I’ve only read 19 of these – what a disgrace!

(16) JDA REAPPLIES TO SFWA. Mary Robinette Kowal took office as SFWA’s new President at the start of the month. Jon Del Arroz says his latest application for membership is already in her inbox: “A New Dawn For SFWA!” [Internet Archive link].

Things are changing at SFWA as my friend Mary Robinette Kowal has been installed as president, after I endorsed her candidacy early on.

…As she has featured my books on her blog not once, but twice, I know that Ms. Kowal’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity is important to her, and she will be doing everything she can to change the perception that SFWA is a place where Conservatives and Christians are not welcome to be called professional authors.

As such, I have reapplied to SFWA as of yesterday, and let Ms. Kowal know, so we can begin the long journey of working together to ensure equality for Conservative and Christian authors. I’ve offered my services as an ambassador to the community, so she will directly be able to hear the grievances of such authors who have been treated as second class citizens — dare I say, 3/5ths of a professional author — for so long now within the science fiction community.

(17) VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE INTERNET. Shades of Cryptonomicon. Futurism.com thinks that the “Russian Sub That Caught Fire Possibly Sent to Cut Internet Cables”

Fire Down Below

On Monday, a Russian submarine caught fire during a mission, killing 14 sailors on board.

But the public didn’t find out about the incident until the next day, when Russia finally released a statement about the accident — though two days after the event, the nation still wouldn’t say exactly what kind of sub caught fire or whether it was nuclear-powered.

A possible reason for Russia’s caginess? Multiple sources are now claiming the sub was an AS-12 “Losharik,” a nuclear-powered submarine some speculate was designed to cut the undersea cables that deliver internet to the world.

(18) FOUR FOR THE FOURTH. For the holiday, James Davis Nicoll has lined up “4 SF Works Featuring a Far-Future U.S.A.” at Tor.com.

In Joe and Jack C. Haldeman’s There Is No Darkness, English is an obscure language, spoken only on backwater worlds and a few places on Earth. We don’t know exactly when the book takes place, as year zero has been set to the founding of the (future) Confederacion. We are told the year is A.C. 354.

What we see of a future Texas suggests that it’s still as recognizably American as Justinian’s Constantinople would have been recognizably Roman. While the region seems a bit down at heel, it’s also one of the more optimistic takes on a future America.

(19) SCALZI GIVEAWAY. Or maybe Christmas will come early and you can read this:

(20) IF IT E-QUACKS LIKE A DUCK. Thomas has found a place where “Robots Replace Ducks in Rice Paddy Fields”.

Aigamo is a Japanese farming method that uses ducks to keep unwanted plants and parasites out of rice paddy fields. This duck crossbreed is able to keep the paddy clear without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and the fowls’ waste actually works as a pretty good fertilizer.  

The method was first introduced in the 16th century but soon fell out of favor. It wasn’t reintroduced as a natural farming method until 1985 and it quickly became popular across the country as well as in China, Iran, France, and other countries. 

About 15 ducks can keep a 1,000-square-meter area clear of insects, worms, and weeds, and they even enrich the water with oxygen by constantly stirring up the soil. But as humans are prone to do, an engineer from Nissan Motor, needed to build a better mousetrap, although this one may not have too many beating down a path to his door. 

Created as a side project, the Aigamo Robot looks less like its namesake and more like a white, floating Roomba with eyes. While the ducks can be trained to patrol specific areas, the robot employs Wi-Fi and GPS to help the robot stir up the soil and keep bugs at bay, though no word yet on how much ground it can cover in a single day. 

(21) SPIDER TO THE FLIER. Have you seen “United–Fly Like a Superhero” on YouTube? The Spider-Man version of the United Airlines safety video? Too bad it’s not as much fun as the Air New Zealand hobbit videos.

(22) STRANGE VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “9 Ways To Draw A Person” on Vimeo, Sasha Svirsky offers a strange video that doesn’t actually tell you how to draw a person.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Jason Sanford, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Daniel Dern, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Greg Hullender, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day rcade.]

105 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/3/19 These Are The Pixels That Try Men’s Scrolls

  1. Bruce Arthurs: Yes, Bruce, very likely you alone are pure. Even I eventually read them all. And that’s probably half my score of books read on this list.

  2. @Cat Eldridge in re JDAs output: I picked up The Stars Entwined and For Steam and Country during a free giveaway. They’re fine. Not Hugo material by any means but entertaining reads. I’d characterize the prose as workmanlike. The kind of thing you might have found on a spinner rack back in the day.

  3. Arcadia is my favorite play. Fermat’s last theorem and time travel make it genre. Stoppard is brilliant.

  4. (15)
    I count 19 that I’ve read or that are on Mt Tsundoku. (I’m not that much into fantasy, I guess.)

    I read MAD often enough that I have a poiuyt on my lab coat (big one on the back, small one on the front). Potrzebie axolotl fink!

  5. Miles Carter said: “The kind of thing you might have found on a spinner rack back in the day.”

    And that’s the issue for all those carrying on about ‘gatekeepers’; ‘literary elitists’ and other eeeeeeeeeeeevil plots to keep them down and selling their work online when they really, really want to be trad published. They’re writing for a platform that doesn’t exist like it once did. You’d take a chance on something for 75 cents.
    And for a group that’s always going on about how much money they make with e-books; you’d think they’d be more willing to admit that the traditional publishers actually publish what they think will make them money.

  6. (1) What I liked about Bolander’s story was that it was realistic. It’s set far enough in the future to have that kind of flooding, but it also depicts a future world where civilization continues, albeit with some problems.

    So many Cli-Fi stories have ridiculous consequences on ridiculous timelines. I saw one where desertification has depopulated half the US by 2025. It’s nice to see one where the author clearly did her homework.

  7. @Bruce Arthurs

    Am I the last person in the world who has never read any of the Harry Potter books?

    looks around; slowly raises hand

    See! There are still a few unicorns in the world after all.

  8. 1) Very nicely written, though I have trouble believing that those buildings would last any real length of time when exposed to the ocean. After a few decades, they should just be piles of rubble. Unless out of a misguided attempt to stay they were heavily reinforced…

    As a side note, I calculated that the main Google campus would begin to be flooded if we had a meter sea level raise, and be completely flooded at 6′. Interesting that they’re currently building a new campus in West San Jose, out of the flood zone…

  9. I wonder if Mary Robinette would also characterize JDA as a friend?

    I think it’s a safe bet they are not friends, given the times he called someone his friend on Twitter while he was actively harassing them.

    In this Jim C. Hines blog post, Hines and some pros in the comments describe him using claims of friendship to impose upon and bother them. Judith Tarr writes, “I don’t engage energy creatures, and I’ve had a long lifetime of shutting down creepers, so he doesn’t bother me, but he certainly is a persistent little pest.”

  10. Bruce Arthurs asks Am I the last person in the world who has never read any of the Harry Potter books?

    No, I read fifty or so pages of the first one standing in Borders, found the writing pedestrian at best and went off to read the latest Patricia McKillip instead. Never bothered with them after that. Saw and immensely liked at least the first three films.

  11. Harold Osler notes And that’s the issue for all those carrying on about ‘gatekeepers’; ‘literary elitists’ and other eeeeeeeeeeeevil plots to keep them down and selling their work online when they really, really want to be trad published. They’re writing for a platform that doesn’t exist like it once did. You’d take a chance on something for 75 cents.
    And for a group that’s always going on about how much money they make with e-books; you’d think they’d be more willing to admit that the traditional publishers actually publish what they think will make them money.

    Print on the shelves at Books-A- Million or digitally on the virtual shelves at say iBooks, the problem is getting reader to know that a given worker exist. I’ve got Empire Games by Stross as my current listen because I know him, otherwise I’ve learned to really, really lean on what y’ll mention here for interesting works as there’s really too much out there.

    JdA would need a publisher that really thinks that he’s going to make the publisher enough money to be worth that publisher promoting him by sending out galleys, buying ads in Locus and generally getting him noticed. I will note that someone at Baen Books has done a great job with the buyers at Books-A- Million has they heavily carry their works at the local store.

  12. 16.). What SFWA could do : admit him to membership, let him pile up offenses, then kick him out for the fun of it. And, repeat the cycle until he wises up..

  13. 15} 39 If you put series as one book, there would barely a top 20 left.
    @JJ yes, I was pleasently surprised of finding Mount Char on the list as well.

  14. I have read more than 50 of the list, with no Potters or Sandersons. I am sure I would have devoured the Potters if they came out when I was the right age. But they weren’t and other works are far more appealing.

    But I do think it is a bit of a cheat having The Lord of the Rings and it’s three component parts all on the list.

    Currently reading the Centenial cycle and finding it reminiscent of Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net.

  15. And now Jon Del Arroz has screenshotted my comment and posted it on Facebook. Facebook’s face recognition technology pointed me at it. (because of my avi here)
    (and somehow, there are six people in the world who are mutually friends with me AND him.)

    Just when I think he’s forgotten about me…it comes right back.

  16. (15) I’ve read 25 on the list, and started but not yet finished a further 4. I primarily read fantasy, but in recent years I’ve been reading more urban fantasy than anything else, and there wasn’t much UF on the list. It did remind me that I still have Mount Char on my TBR, so that’s something; I should take a look at it when I’m finished my current reread of Good Omens.

  17. 15) Gee, I thought I rather liked fantasy–at least, I used to. From that list, LotR and Once and Future King, and that’s it. On the other hand, the list has a strong recent-work bias, and I pretty much stopped following fantasy after finishing my grad work, and I’ve only reviewed a dozen or so for Locus since 1990. (I’m fairly up-to-date as of 1975 or so.)

  18. 61/100, with two more on Mt.Tsundoku (Gardens of the Moon, which Tor once offered as a free download, and Circe) I am a fan of Sanderson and have read all of his, so that increases my number.

  19. (15) 36 of the 100.

    (16) JdA would be well served to put all this energy into his writing.

    (2) @Harold Osler–I knew there was a comment here I wanted to get back to!

    Just not buying ebooks, a flat refusal to do so, is not such an easy and obvious choice. Public libraries exist to serve the public, the users and taxpayers in their own communities, where, a high percentage of thetime, they live. Ebook lending and electronic services make library services more accessible to people with all kinds of access issues.

    Being able to download a book from the library is a great blessing. My mom had reduced mobility. I have serious anxiety issues. Many people don’t have cars, don’t have good public transit available, can’t drive anymore.

    The more services that can be offered electronically to those who need it, the better libraries can serve their communities.

    And the profession does not attract a large percentage of people who don’t feel that obligation very seriously.

    Limited budgets do mean that many librarians are already explaining to patrons that the ebook offerings are more limited than they’d like to offer, because of the cost. That problem will worsen, as publishers try to squeeze that last drop, and may indeed result in libraries deciding they simply can’t afford ebooks.

    But that will be a serious blow to library services. Librarians aren’t going to deprive users of services and resources they want or need, simply to make a point. They’re going to do their best to provide the best services possible.

    The best service you can deliver to your user base is always the guiding principle. Yes, this can put libraries at a disadvantage in negotiating with an industry that has been consumed by the entertainment industry, which regards anything other than pay-per-view as basically theft.

  20. Thirding the claim that it was Ray Nelson, not Rotsler, who was responsible for the propeller beanie thing–or so I’ve always heard. Wikipedia does say that Rotsler’s art “helped perpetuate the image of science fiction fans wearing propeller beanies”, but that’s not the same as single-handedly “popularizing” it.

    (I never found the notion offensive, though. In fact, I’ve bought a couple of propeller beanies myself, just for amusement.)

  21. Dr. Strangelobe

    16.). What SFWA could do : admit him to membership, let him pile up offenses, then kick him out for the fun of it. And, repeat the cycle until he wises up..

    Why would SFWA want to give a known abuser additional ways to abuse their members in the interim? And therr has been no sign of wising up over the past few years.

  22. Time for Beanie: After cartoonist Ray Nelson invented the iconic fan wearing a beanie, fanartists Dave Rike, Bjo Trimble, Lee Hoffman and ATom helped popularize the image. (Jeff Schalles helped keep the joke going in my generation with his own cartoons.)

  23. Xtifr says Thirding the claim that it was Ray Nelson, not Rotsler, who was responsible for the propeller beanie thing–or so I’ve always heard. Wikipedia does say that Rotsler’s art “helped perpetuate the image of science fiction fans wearing propeller beanies”, but that’s not the same as single-handedly “popularizing” it.

    Nor did I say he single-handedly did so. Saying one person popularised something does not mean someone else didn’t do it as well. Hrumph.

  24. Bruce Arthurs asks “Am I the last person in the world who has never read any of the Harry Potter books?”
    For what it’s worth, i’ve never read any Harry Potter nor seen any of the movies. What can i say, Magic just isn’t my thing. However since Warp Drives, Starships, and Transporters ARE my thing, i may be whistling past the thin ice here…

  25. I often drew propeller beanies in my fillos. But when it came to my own headgear, I was squarely with Bud Webster in the Fez camp. I have a handsome red fez (which I see when I look up from the screen), ready and waiting for me to modify it properly. Not as an airfoil fez, however. My plan has always been to put a light bulb on top of it which would switch on from the tassel. I came so close recently, finding an LED bulb on a base that looks very much like a regular bulb, and which runs on battery power, and could be turned on by a microswitch in the tassel… but it seemed to be permanently out of stock. Woe. Woe, I say.

  26. 15) I got 32 out of 100, but then I prefer urban to epic fantasy, plus the list had multiple books by several authors I don’t particularly care for.

    For the top 25 dystopian novels at the same site, I got 14 out of 25, probably because I’ve read a lot of Margaret Atwood.

    For the top 50 crime novels, thrillers and mysteries, I got 11 out of 50.

    @Bruce Arthur
    I read the first Harry Potter and thought that it was fine and that I would really have enjoyed it if I were twelve. Never felt compelled to read the rest.

  27. Cora, the first book was kind of excruciating with its insistence on exploring the life story of every sideshow. She’d mention the beans, and then would have to go into all the flavors and the history and many amusing anecdotes about them. The writing improved as it went on, fortunately.

    I read the first two and then saw the movies. By then, the third movie was out, and I went and watched it before reading the book. I’d just about recommend doing it that way, though I read the rest of them before their movies came out, because I could watch the movie and enjoy it without saying “Hey! What happened to character X and subplots Y and Z?” and then when I read the book, those all came as enjoyable surprises.

  28. When I graduated, I was able to keep my mortarboard. I have, at times, fitted it with a propellor, though I rarely have occasion to wear it that way.

  29. @Dr. Strangelobe: Past cases, whether of expulsion or simply no-longer-comped membership (according to at least one version) have caused much agita; asking a bunch of people who join for benefits (e.g., camraderie, support) to join in a masochistic lather-rinse-repeat is past too-much and into cruel.

    @Kip Williams: why in the tassel? Run the line under your hair and into a pocket, so you can turn it on and off without anyone noticing; I made good use of a propeller beanie rigged that way by a friend, several decades ago.

    @Cat Eldridge: 8/50 mysteries, and 7/8 of those either SF or related (one that I would not consider for any best-50, best-100, best-500, … list). I read a modest number of mysteries/noir each year and am surprised not to recognize any recent prizewinners, several of which I thought were notable. …gout, again.

    “When I was a Scroll, I served a File, as Pixel-boy to OGH’s firm.” (yes it’s strained. It’s late enough here to be noisy, and the heat is poaching my brain.)

  30. 10) Edge of Tomorrow started well but went downhill after Tom Cruise’s charactwer stopped getting killed off and time reset.

    15)40/100 with a few on Mt TBR

    16) This is the story of JDA
    The man with only himself to blame
    For all the dumb things he’s ever done
    Chucked from the Worldcon but one time
    He coulda been the best Hispanic writer in the world

  31. “Why in the tassel?”

    Because it is there. If I could, I’d pull the tassel like a metal bead chain and that would turn the light on, but that’s not doable. With a microswitch in the end of it, I can simulate the effect.

  32. Well, this is nicely circular.

    I got linked from elsewhere to Jason Sanford’s article about Tor and ebooks and libraries, and thought, “Dang, that’s good info he went after and made available. I really should become a patron so I can read his Genre Grapevine.”

    And so I did. And, bam, the most recent one of those posts mentioned the Beam-flavored Truefan Gatekeeping Extravaganza, and also the coverage of it at File 770. And I thought, “Dang, I haven’t visited File 770 in a while. I should catch up on some of the latest scrolls.”

    And so I did. And, bam, right in this scroll here, a link back to Sanford’s post.

    Now I’m dizzy.

    Dr. Strangelobe on July 4, 2019 at 12:09 pm said:

    16.). What SFWA could do : admit him to membership, let him pile up offenses, then kick him out for the fun of it. And, repeat the cycle until he wises up.

    So, take a known harasser and give him access to SFWA’s private forums and member contact directory? Thus giving him his pick of new targets to doxx and harass? “For the fun of it”?

    Speaking as a SFWA member, what did we ever to do you, that you should wish such a thing on us? Sheesh.

  33. Adding to Lis Carey’s comments about libraries and e-books:

    One secondary benefit of e-books is that they remove the need to create separate large print versions of texts. Any e-book can be made more accessible to the visually impaired just by jacking up the font size. (I do this regularly for my gym reading, since I find wearing glasses while exercising to be annoying.)

  34. 16.). What SFWA could do : admit him to membership, let him pile up offenses, then kick him out for the fun of it. And, repeat the cycle until he wises up.

    Or they could just cut to the chase, go for the end result without the agita, and let him wise up (or not) on his own time.

  35. (15) MORE BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ. Yay another list! I’ve read maybe 25 or so and own another 16 or more (not sure about a few). Approximating ‘cuz I’m tired and not double-checking some of them.

    @Paul King: I guess I was the wrong age, but I enjoyed the Harry Potter series a lot. 😉 Agreed re. the LotR showing up as a series and as individual books being a bit cheaty.

    @Cora Buhlert: I’ve read 3 from the dystopian list and own maybe 2 more. Or I’ve read 4 and have 2 or 3 (my wonderful memory strikes again). I’ve read one of the mystery list (Six Wakes), wow!

    (16) JDA REAPPLIES TO SFWA. I love (read: roll my eyes at) the implication that her win relates at all to an endorsement from him.

  36. SF Reading:

    I finished Kowal’s The Calculating Stars in audio and it was very good; I enjoyed it a lot! I’m glad I glanced at the Hugo packet file, though. The audio version omits the acknowledgements section (not unusual, but in this case it’s interesting reading – more so than for most books) and very unfortunately, omits the historical notes info (which was especially interesting and IMHO should’ve been read for the audiobook). So book 2 is on my list to get. But FYI to anyone who listened to the audiobook and is a Hugo voter this year; you may want to check out the acknowledgements and historical notes!

    I’ve never read the original story these books are prequels to, “The Lady Astronaut of Mars.” I’ll probably wait till I get a chance to listen to book 2, though I suspect I could read it now. 😉

  37. 15) 19 (mostly Tolkien and Pratchett), with 20 more waiting. Regarding Potter, I came to the same conclusion as Cat, but took 49 fewer pages to get there.

  38. 15) 12. Mostly Tolkien. I read a few of The Harry Potters (don’t actually remember which). I agree the prose is pretty basic, but she can tell a good story. Pages were turned.

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