Pixel Scroll 1/10/18 Learning To File, By Tom Pixel And The Scrollbreakers

(1) THE REFERENCE-SPANGLED BANNER. Artist Taral Wayne has updated his File 770 banner artwork to 2018, with the help of Sherman and Peabody, and the Wayback Machine.

(2) NOM DE CON. The “Phoenix Comicon Is Now Phoenix Comic Fest” reports Phoenix New Times. Although the conrunners declined to explicitly answer the question why, the reporter noted the change follows close on the heels of the San Diego Comic-Con’s victory in a lawsuit about its rights to the name “Comic-Con,” which is hinted at in a press release.

Square Egg Entertainment, the Phoenix-based company that runs the event, sent out a press release on Tuesday, January 2, announcing the rebranding.

And it hints at the possible reason behind the name change.

“In recent months, the use of the word Comic-Con, and its many forms, has become litigious. We would prefer to focus on creating the best events and experiences for our attendees. Therefore, effective immediately, our event held annually in Phoenix in the spring will be rebranded as Phoenix Comic Fest.”

(It isn’t the first time that the event has undergone a name change as it was previously known as “Phoenix Cactus Comicon” from 2002 to 2009.)

Meanwhile, a con in the state of Washington is waiting to see how the region’s larger Comic Cons respond to the court decision before changing its name – the Yakima Herald has the story: “Yakima group watches ‘Comic Con’ naming controversy play out”.

The annual Central City Comic Con in Yakima will hold off on a name change after one of the nation’s largest comic conventions successfully defended its right to the words “Comic Con.”

One of the staff for Yakima’s convention said organizers are waiting to see what other comic conventions in the area will do in response to San Diego Comic-Con’s successful lawsuit….

Yakima’s event attracts an average of 2,000 people a year, compared with the more than 130,000 who attended San Diego’s convention last year.

Burns said the Yakima event does not have a problem changing the name if it has to. She said the organizers are waiting to see whether the Emerald City Comic Con, scheduled for February in Seattle, and the Rose City Comic Con, which will take place in September in Portland, will change their names.

Rose City’s organizers announced on their website that the convention had reached an agreement with San Diego to use the Comic Con name at no charge.

(3) BEAUTIFUL IMAGES OF JUPITER. Via TIME Magazine, “See Jupiter Looking Downright Gorgeous in These New NASA Photos”.

NASA has shared brand new photos of Jupiter taken by the Juno spacecraft, showing the gas giant’s blue-tinged skies.

The Juno spacecraft takes batches of photos about every 53 days as it orbits Jupiter. NASA researchers uploaded the raw images online last month, prompting several people to process the photos into colorful views of Jupiter, including self-described citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran.

(4) LESSON FOR THE DAY. Chloe N. Clarke, in “HORROR 101: Violence in Horror, Part One”, tells Nerds of a Feather readers to distinguish between gore and violence:

A lot of times when I mention being a horror fan or horror writer, people say something about the violence in horror: “I can’t watch that stuff, it’s too gory” or “why would you want to write something violent.” Rarely do I want to go into pedantic scholar mode (except for my poor long-suffering students), so I usually just shrug. However, here in Horror 101, is exactly the place for me to get onto my horror scholar pedestal and say: good horror isn’t about the gory, or shocking acts of physical violence being depicted. Instead, it’s often about the true nature of violence which is the loss of agency.  So in this column, I’ll be talking about violence and agency in horror. Violence is a subject I plan to tackle from a few angles in terms of horror—while this is looking specifically at violence as loss of agency, later columns will address violence and women’s bodies in horror and other issues about the use of violence in the genre.

When we think of horror, we might think of the visceral moments that have stayed with us: the opening murder in Scream, for example, or the shark in Jaws taking off someone’s leg. Those moments stick with us because acts of physical violence cause such visceral emotional reactions: disgust, terror, an empathetic surge at the pain. However, beneath these physical moments of violence are the ones of the more subtle but insidious acts of violence.

(5) IN DEMAND. Breaking a record held by Captain America, “Black Panther had the biggest first day ticket presale of any Marvel movie” reports The Verge.

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is already set to have a huge debut at the box office in February. Fandango reports that the first 24 hours of ticket presales for the film were the largest it’s ever seen for a Marvel movie. The record was previously held by Captain America: Civil War, which was released in 2016.

(6) “COMIC-CON FOR WONKS”. The Washington Post’s David Betancourt, in “DC in D.C.: The stars of ‘Black Lightning’ and other DC projects are coming to Washington”, says that fans in the Washington area are going to get a lot of DC Comics panels in the next few weeks, including one with Black Lightning star Cress Williams.

The various worlds of DC Comics, from television to comics to animation, are coming to Washington for a first-of-its-kind event titled “DC in D.C.” — but it’s not just because the two names are the same.

The gathering will feature a who’s who of DC bigwigs participating in various panels, including television producer Greg Berlanti, DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, animation producer Bruce Timm and actors from the CW and Fox’s DC-inspired superhero television slate.

“DC in D.C.” will take place at multiple locations, including the Newseum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Lisa Gregorian, the president and chief marketing officer of Warner Bros. Television Group, has been working on bringing DC to Washington over the past three years and says it will be “Comic-Con for wonks.”

(7) THYSSEN OBIT. Greta Thyssen, who appeared in minor sf movies and opposite the Three Stooges, has died at the age of 90. The Hollywood Reporter eulogy begins —

Greta Thyssen, the Danish beauty who doubled for Marilyn Monroe, dated Cary Grant and starred opposite The Three Stooges, has died. She was 90. Thyssen died Saturday night at her Manhattan apartment after a bout with pneumonia, her daughter, Genevieve Guenther, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Thyssen also starred in several “B” movies, including the horror pic Terror Is a Man (1959), a loose adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. On a mystery island (it was filmed in the Philippines), the actress played the wife of a scientist (Francis Lederer) “tormented by unsatisfied desire, desperate to escape a loneliness and her fear,” according to the film’s trailer. Unfortunately, Thyssen’s character has more pressing issues to worry about, namely her husband’s creation — a half-man, half-panther beast. The movie incorporated a “warning bell” gimmick that would alert moviegoers when a particularly horrific sequence was about to take place so that they could hide their eyes. It would ring a second time when it was safe to look again.

Four of Thyssen’s other best-known performances came in the Joseph Kane noir Accused of Murder(1956); The Beast of Budapest (1958); Three Blondes in His Life (1961), opposite Jock Mahoney; and as an enticing pin-up beauty on Uranus in Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962), shot in her native Denmark….

(8) BAIKIE OBIT. Eisner Award-winning Scottish comic artist Jim Baikie died December 29. He was 77. Downthetubes paid tribute —

[He was] perhaps best known to many downthetubes readers as co-creator of 2000AD’s alien-on-the-run, Skizz. He enjoyed a career in comics that began with work for girls titles in the 1960s that would go on to encompass “Charlie’s Angels” and “Terrahawks” for Look-In, 2000AD and superhero work in the United States. He was also a much in demand artist beyond the comics medium.

…In 1991 when he was 51, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Initially the symptoms were mild enough that he could continue to work until 2004, after which his condition made it impossible to do so. He died peacefully from complications due to the disease.

…While perhaps best known perhaps for his work with Alan Moore on the 2000AD strip “Skizz”, as well as many memorable “Judge Dredd” strips, Jim had a long and varied career as an artist in comics. Born in 1940, he was inspired by comics from an early age, including Hogarth’s Tarzan and humour strips such as Gasoline Alley.

(9) RHODES OBIT. Donnelly Rhodes, most recently seen by fans as Agent Smith in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, died January 8. He was 80. Rhodes appeared in more than 160 films and TV series during the past 60 years.

His roles in genre TV shows included The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Wild, Wild West, The Starlost, Wonder Woman, Airwolf, Sliders, The X-Files, The Outer Limits reboot, The Dead Zone, Smallville, the Battlestar Galactica reboot, and Supernatural. He also appeared in several little-known genre films.


  • January 10, 1927 — Fritz Lang’s Metropolis premiered in his native Germany.
  • January 10, 1967 The Invaders television series debuted.


  • Born January 10, 1904 – Ray Bolger, whose Scarecrow wanted the Wizard of Oz to give him a brain.


  • John King Tarpinian spotted an unusual parent-teacher conference in Bliss.

(13) DEMOCRAT IN NAME ONLY. A Filer made a typo and in the process discovered that last November someone with a few dollars to throw away amused themselves by purchasing the URL www.jondelarroz.com, and setting it to redirect to www.democrats.org. (JDA’s correct URL is www.delarroz.com.)

Full WHOIS Lookup

Registry Domain ID: 2182181215_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.dreamhost.com
Registrar URL: http://www.DreamHost.com
Updated Date: 2017-11-01T22:12:15Z
Creation Date: 2017-11-01T22:12:15Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2018-11-01T22:12:15Z
Registrar: DreamHost, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 431
Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone:
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form: https://www.icann.org/wicf/
>>> Last update of whois database: 2017-11-03T00:16:42Z

(14) TALKING SHAT. The voice of William Shatner is the big selling point in publicity for Aliens Ate My Homework, for sale on DVD March 6. Here’s the actual story:

Based on Bruce Coville’s best-selling book series, this suspenseful family comedy follows the adventures of sixth-grader Rod Allbright and the extraterrestrial lawmen known as the Galactic Patrol. When a tiny spaceship flies through his window and lands on his science project, Rod and his cousin Elspeth meet a group of friendly aliens, including Phil, a talking plant (voiced by William Shatner). The earthlings quickly join the aliens’ adventurous mission to help defeat an evil alien criminal. After discovering the evil alien is disguised as a human – someone he knows all too well – Rod and Elspeth race to save the world from total planetary disaster.


(15) LIST OF FAVES. Dina at SFF Book Reviews details what she likes about “My Top 7 Books of 2017”

My Favorite Books Published in 2017

Katherine Arden – The Bear and the Nightingale

Without a doubt, my favorite book of last year (both published last year and older), this Russian-inspired fairy tale had so much atmosphere and told such a riveting story that it catapulted Katherine Arden onto my top author shelf immediately. Vasya is a fantastic heroine who – despite the slow loss of old beliefs – holds on to the old gods and tries to save her home, all by herself. The snowy landscape, the threat of true winter, the politics and magic and mythology all go so perfectly well together to make this book a perfect read for a cold day by a chimney (if you have one) or in front of a nice steaming cup of tea (if you don’t).

(16) 24. Joe Sherry has his eye on the future in an ambitious list of “24 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018” at Nerds of a Feather. He begins with this caveat:

As with any list, this is incomplete. Any number of stellar novels and collections have not been announced yet and will slot into place at some point this year. Some books on this list scheduled for later in the year may be pushed back into 2019 for any number of reasons. Some books are left off this list because they are the third or fourth book in a series I’ve never read. Some books are left off because they are not to my taste and thus, I’m not actually looking forward to them. Some books are left off this list because I haven’t heard of them yet, even though they’ve been announced. Some books are left off this list because, sadly, I completely forgot about it even though I’ve tried to do as much research as possible.

(17) YOLEN. At Locus Online, Gary K. Wolfe reviews The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen.

One of Jane Yolen’s abiding concerns in the hun­dreds of books she’s written or edited has been the ways in which stories and lives shape each other, so it’s not too surprising that her new collection The Emerald Circus begins and ends with actual historical figures, Hans Christian Andersen and Emily Dickinson. In between, we also briefly meet Edgar Allan Poe, Queen Victoria, Benjamin Disraeli, Alice Liddell as an old lady, and even Geoffrey of Monmouth. On the fictional side of the ledger, there are tales and characters drawn from Arthurian legends, J.M. Barrie, John Keats, L. Frank Baum, and O. Henry. What we do not see, with one or two exceptions, are stories that engage with traditional folk and fairy tales of the sort that underlie Briar Rose and stories like “Granny Rumple”.

(18) THROWING ROCKS. Steve Davidson revisits a Heinlein Hugo-winner in  “Retro Review: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a hard book to review. Like so many others from Heinlein’s later period, there are bits of it I enjoyed immensely and bits that made me want to throw the book across the room (and out the airlock). It is both a story of revolution – both bloody and bloodless – and a description of a very different society, forged by conditions that cannot be found on Earth. In short, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is several different things at once and they don’t always go together.

The background of the story is relatively simple. Luna – a society formed by convicts exiled from Earth – is being oppressed by the Warden and his Dragoons. The Moon is Earth’s main source of grain at this point (quite how that works isn’t clear) and the homeworld is unable or unwilling to realise that the Loonies have excellent reasons to be discontented, let alone make any concessions. Luna is ripe for revolution and just about everyone believes it is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.

(19) STIEFVATER REVIEWED. At Nerds of a Feather, Phoebe Wagner devotes a moment to the novel’s taxonomy before diving in — “Microreview [book]: All the Crooked Saints, by Maggie Stiefvater”

A note: Some readers might classify this novel as magical realism. When it comes to North American writers, prefer to use the term fabulism, even if it may not fully encompass the text.

Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints breaks from her usual fairytale folklore style as seen in her bestselling werewolf series Shiver and her acclaimed Raven Boys Cycle about ghosts, magic, ley lines, and more. When I picked up All the Crooked Saints with the excellent cover featuring roses and owls, I expected more of the same.

Instead, this novel opens on Colorado in 1962, describing the conflation of miracles and radio waves. Immediately, this novel felt separate from Stiefvater’s teen folklore oeuvre. Set in the high deserts of Colorado, the novel opens on a family of miracle workers, the Sorias. Three of the youngest are trying to establish a radio station out of a broken-down truck, but while they might be a family of miracle workers, the miracles are reserved for the pilgrims that visit the Sorias, not the Sorias themselves.

(20) IN THE MEDIA. Alex Acks covered the story for Bookriot “Author Banned From Attending WorldCon”.

Science fiction author Jon Del Arroz (known positively for his novel Rescue Run being nominated for the 2017 Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel category in the Dragon Awards) has been banned from San Jose WorldCon for making his intention to break the convention’s Code of Conduct loud and clear online. More specifically, for saying that he was going to be filming people against their will. He has been offered a refund by WorldCon, as has his wife, according to the convention.

I’m not surprised by this, considering that back on December 19, Mr. Del Arroz was talking publicly about joining SFWA and wearing a body cam into the SFWA suite at the convention. Considering Mr. Del Arroz’s history of harassing SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) members including Cat Rambo, Sharon Lee, and Irene Gallo, this wasn’t met with a lot of joy. A. Merc Rustad has a great Twitter thread that basically summarizes that issue. (Also it should be noted that the harassment extends beyond SFWA members to others in SF literary fandom.)

(21) MORE SHOPPING WHILE INTOXICATED. Cherie Priest answers the pivotal question —

(22) ON A FROZEN PLANET. I got a kick out of this Scalzi retweet – a sci-fi response to his first tweet:

(23) GODZILLA. This trailer for the animated Godzilla series from Netflix touts “Humankind vs. The Largest Godzilla Ever.”

(24) KRYPTON. The first trailer for Syfy’s series Krypton has been posted.

From David S. Goyer, the writer of Man of Steel and The Dark Knight, comes a new story that will change a legend and forge a destiny. Krypton Premieres March 21 on SYFY.


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooster, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Nancy Sauer.]

90 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/10/18 Learning To File, By Tom Pixel And The Scrollbreakers

  1. (1) THE REFERENCE-SPANGLED BANNER. Groovy! The cartoon pieces on top of the art does give it a temporary feel to me.

    (3) BEAUTIFUL IMAGES OF JUPITER. Lovely and scary all at once.

    (6) “COMIC-CON FOR WONKS”. Uh okay I’ve never heard of this. Good thing I don’t mind missing it, since the panels (the article says) are largely filled anyway. Still, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of this from folks in this area.

    (7) Aw, I refreshed and you already fixed the formatting glitch! 😉

    (14) TALKING SHAT. “The voice of William Shatner is the big selling point in publicity for Aliens At My Homework . . .” – should be “Ate.” I’ll appertain myself a nightcap, thanks!

    (18) THROWING ROCKS. I’m off to read Davidson’s retro review after I post this comment.

    (21) MORE SHOPPING WHILE INTOXICATED. Wicked lamp – I kinda want it!

    (24) KRYPTON. I feel like this could just drop the Superman/Krypton connection and be an interesting SF show without that, maybe.

  2. Cool new banner but I wonder whether there are trademark violation concerns.

    (Also, isn’t it the WABAC machine, rather than “Wayback”?)

  3. (2) I would have thought the answer to “why change the name?” was obvious, and the more interesting question would be why that particular name rather than another.

    But sometimes, in am very boring and prosaic, so there’s that.

  4. @Hampus Eckerman The domain corresponding my name belongs to a random photographer (who has my last name as her middle name and so isn’t even really called the same thing – the cheek!) but I’m not going to get sulky with her for stealing it, because… she didn’t. That’s not how domain names work, and I never had any intrinsic claim to it. Same for JDA.

  5. @ Hampus:

    I think it falls in the “wrong, but funny, probably should never have been done” category for me.

  6. 13) The company I work for is sensitive about this sort of thing, because of the inability to get a domain that aligns perfectly with its name. So its not quite as funny to me as it might otherwise be.

    3) Those pics of Jupiter are shiny!

  7. Arifel:

    “That’s not how domain names work, and I never had any intrinsic claim to it. Same for JDA.”

    It is one thing using a name that is part of your own or a made up one for legitimate use. It is a totally different thing to on purpose take somebody else’s name for trolling purposes.

    Ingvar: Exactly so.

  8. Title credit! Yay!

    (13) Mildy amusing, but unless there’s another Jon del Arroz in the US who is a big supporter of the Democratic Party (unlikely, but not impossible) I’d classify this under Things We Probably Shouldn’t Encourage.

  9. “Agent 770, with a license to scoll”
    “My name is Pixel, Scrolled Pixel.”
    “I’d like a dry Pixelini, Scrolled not Filed.”

  10. David Goldfarb, I agree. My friend Mike saw a comic or some such ephemera (it’s been decades since he mentioned it to me, and he didn’t own it) contemporary with the series that spelled it WABAC, which makes more sense as a joke for the time. That is, it makes it a real joke instead of just a noun.

  11. Paul Weimer on January 11, 2018 at 5:42 am said:
    SFF author Courtney Schafer, whom I’ve hiked with in Colorado and met on my DUFF trip who had been staying for a while in New Zealand…has decided to make that a permanent move:


    Frankly, I’m jealous. I wish I could do the same.

    Best of luck to them. I know a few people with dreams of moving to NZ.

  12. “The Moon is Earth’s main source of grain at this point (quite how that works isn’t clear)”.

    I’m open to textevd to the contrary, but my interpretation would be that lunar production is the difference between surplus and shortage, not the main source.

  13. 13) The nice thing about my name (which is actually mine) is that it makes great Internet camouflage. Really, it’s just two or three steps below John Smith.

  14. @Hampus right, but neither one is “stealing” because that implies that the domain name belonged to someone originally and was then taken, rather than being something openly available that another person purchased. Nobody hacked the guy, or waited for the name he was using to expire and jumped on it, or did anything to a domain he has actually expressed interest in. I will fully concede that what’s been done is a bit obnoxious but there’s a big difference between that and theft.

  15. A single Moment of Meredith:

    An ebook omnibus of Octavia Butler’s “Earthseed” books – Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents – is on sale in the USA for $1.99 from Open Road Media (uses DRM).

    @Paul Weimer: I read her post last night and I’m happy for her! Except this probably means I’m even less likely to run across her at a con again. I met her at World Fantasy one year and she was very friendly and down-to-earth – a wonderful person. And of course, an excellent author. 😉

    – – – – –

    In re. #13: He’s probably not the only person with that name and there’s a long history of poking/trolling through alternate-domain-names like this. It’s not “stealing” and I basically agree with @Arifel.

    [ETA: I posted this as Arifel posted a second comment, but I basically agree with the second comment, too. But clearly I’m more sanguine about this silly redirect than some.]

    That said, would I be annoyed, in his shoes? Sure! But only mildly. Odds are eventually, some variation of a name will point to something/someone one doesn’t like – usually another person, not a redirect or parody site or the like, granted.

    Anyway, with no fanfare (it was found by accident), and given the better domain-name-trolls actually put up web sites (not just redirects), this one’s not nearly as amusing as it could be. Things like whitehouse.com or the parody Puppy site are much better!

  16. @13, I’d consider that low-level trolling. Honestly, it’s kind of funny, but it’s also uncool. (I seem to recall that Chuck Tingle did the same the Sad Puppies back during the height of the pupocalypse.)

  17. I checked my name, and the only website I found in a minute or so of half-hearted poking was from the Richmond, VA, Kip Williams, who has a music shop and plays drums. Surprised not to see the philosopher or the porn actor.


    ESCAPE the minutiae of your dull everyday life: From VIZ comes this somewhat familiar-looking crew in a thrilling OUTER SPACE adventure!


  18. Re: 13, it is uncool and trolling, but in this case the irony of the troller being trolled kept my indignation to a minimum.

  19. Meredith moment. Damien Black’s Devil’s Night Dawning is on sale on Amazon for $0.99. This book is a current SPFBO finalist. Devil’s Night Dawning is the first of a two book series. The second book, Warlock’s Sun Rising, is also on sale for $0.99 at Amazon.

    (18) I was going to read the retro review either way, but I’m pleased to see that it was written by Chris Nuttall. I enjoy his work.

    (13) Thanks to everyone that saved me the trouble of noting the….problematic…nature of this. Aside from being pretty shallow, it probably isn’t going to create much new support for the DNC.


  20. 13
    It’s legal, it’s not unusual (look up how many domain names have been sold because someone else wanted that name), and if it’s trolling, it’s not a style I recognize.

  21. (14) Speaking of Shatner, the two-CD/three-LP Doctor Demento (all new) collection “Covered in Punk” comes out tomorrow. It contains a (new) track record by William Shatner (no, not “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” or “Rocket Man”), as well as the last track recorded by Adam West:


    There’s a release party tonight at Forbidden Planet in NYC, and another at Music Millennium in Portland on Saturday, Jan 20th.

  22. In Sweden it is legal, but if someone contests the name and you are deemed to have registered it in bad faith, they will judge that you don’t have the right to the name and give it to the contesting person/firm – if they have a good reason to have it.

    When I say stealing, I mean identity theft. And legal or not, I consider that identity theft.

  23. @Stewart: Yes, the Earth is described as being close to the edge in terms of food supply (not that the elites are starving – but the general populace is … attentive … to issues of food supply in a way that likely makes elites nervous about tumbrils), so every significant source of food matters – and apparently Luna qualifies there.

  24. Some folks were probably well aware of the dangers of impact – the folks that were mocking the risks were from America (an area that probably wasn’t receiving food from Luna, and thus had less interest in the subject) and were being misled by media that seemed to be interested in downplaying the Lunar revolt in all ways.

    P.S. I read you review – very good point about Mannie being the logical suspect when computer problems come up. In my most recent reread I was struck by how the free market society of Luna lasts only to the moment when the Loonies are allowed any choice in the matter – the Loonies have a free market anarchy only because the Authority prevents the development of anything else, and within days of the Authority’s demise, the Loonies are building the legal system they’d been prevented from making before, in spite of speeches from the Prof (who was a recognized hero of the Revolution).

  25. @Stewart / @Andrew: that was pretty much my reaction to that part of @18 (and his complaint about the process being unclear suggests either sloppy reading or too much need for explanation), but the review seems to have misunderstood a fair amount about the book. Another obvious example: Adam Selene’s face may be “just CGI”, but the intelligence behind it is not — and it’s the fact that there’s an intelligence (instead of script) behind it that makes it convincing. Or the fact that the trio start a new movement from scratch (developing an upgraded the cell system in the process) rather than “taking over” the existing (compromised) movement. (The fanfic linked at the end also errs, on Wyoh’s parentage. IMO it also gives her more self-knowledge than plausible; this isn’t Susan the former Queen of Narnia, even if Heinlein’s comment about her un-understanding of tech is implausible.) And I was lightly stunned by the opening idea that having a very different society and a plot were incompatible, or at least awkward; a common complaint now about fiction from then and earlier (including some of Heinlein) is the unrealistic transplanting of mid-century middle-US to some future place/time.

  26. and @15 makes such a good case for some recs that they’re going on Mt. TBR even if I’ve bounced off Valente enough times that I’m careful about recs from people who love her work. It would be a dull world if people’s tastes fit neatly into this box or that one.

    And another for @19, even though I felt Stiefvater was too indulgent of her preppy characters (enough of a personal sore point that I can’t read the Raven Boys unbiasedly).

  27. To be fair, New Zealand is a lovely place to live, though the inhabitants (such as myself) will also tell you that it no utopia.

    When people have talked about rage-quitting their own country & moving elsewhere, New Zealand seems to be a preferred destination, to the extent that there is a Twitter account for it:

    I am amused by this.

  28. @Cassy B – Tingle’s parody site is what I immediately thought of when I read (13). I found that funny, whereas this one seems pointless.

    @Paul Weimer – thanks for the link. I just finished my first(!) read of Rendezvous with Rama, which is also the first Clarke I’ve read in well over a decade, and it has rekindled my interest in his writing.

  29. I usually try to reverse the joke mentally to be against someone I sympathize with, to determine if it’s reasonable. So I tend to mostly agree with Hampus. Though I don’t think it’s theft, I do disapprove.

  30. Oops. I somehow thought that Greg wrote the review at Amazing Stories (perhaps because I’m used to reading his reviews at RSR), but it was Chris Nuttall. Sorry, Greg, and sorry, Chris.

  31. (1) Nice update! 🙂

    (3) I love these images. I want to drift among those swirly clouds… until it occurs to me that each swirl probably represents a Category 50 hurricane of deadly gases…

    (13) Pretty funny. (And congratulations once again to Doug Jones!)

    (15) Putting THE BEAR & THE NIGHTINGALE on my reading list right now. (I tried The Refrigerator Monologues, which the column also recommends. I really liked the writing and the voice… but since I am not a comics reader at all, I had no idea what the text was talking about, so most of the content was blowing right past me, and so I quit after a couple of chapters. I’m just not the audience for that one.)

    (20) She also writes in that linked article: “In what most have pegged as a really puzzling PR decision for a writer, Mr. Del Arroz has been trying desperately to have a feud with much better known author John Scalzi since last year (which John Scalzi has responded to by, as far as I can tell, literally never mentioning Del Arroz’s name, in a move that seems to enrage him only further)”

    Not puzzling at all, really. Trolling Scalzi is the only reason anyone outside of VD’s strange clique has ever heard of him; presumably being heard of outside his own strange VD-ish clique is also why JdA trolls John Scalzi. Presumably he figures, “Hey, it got VD’s name out there–why not mine?” And so, no, it’s not at all surprising if “it seems to enrage him only further” if John won’t mention his name. LOL!

    (21) Oooh! I need to go shopping with Drunk Cherie!

    (22) Yeah, with temps in single-digits here last week, my evil little door-dashers begged to come back inside within seconds of escaping… rather than engage in their usual hijinks of running down the street while I chase after them in my pajamas. (My neighbors are accustomed to the sight by now.)

  32. @Paul Weimer

    I now feel particularly justified at having picked up Tim Pratt’s book a couple of days ago!

    Anyone read After The Flare?

  33. You all don’t want to know how much I had to spend to free http://www.amazingstories.com up from a squatter, but I did negotiate it down 50% from the initial asking price.

    The only entities that can lay claim to a url (country dependent) are those who have a trademark for that name and intend to use it for their business purpose.

    Freeing something up from ICANN (in the US) starts at 10K, which is why most names being squatted on are asking for 10K.

    Hence http://www.amazingstoriesmag.com.

    If you’re a sports star and have trademarked your name, you’d still have difficulty prying the url out of the hands of someone who also has that same name.

    There are approximately 121 people in the US with the last name Delarroz (or Del Arroz).

    On the other hand, there are at least 400 people using the name Steve Davidson (or common variations of the first name) on Facebook alone. Some (&%#@*&!) photographer in the midwest has “MY” website name.

    The Del Arroz in question could potentially register a wide variety of alternatives to obtain a URL with the full name in it.

    URL registration is very much a first come, first served wild west kind of thing. It’s not for no reason that registrars offer to sell you .net, .biz, .us, .info, .etc etc when your purchase a .com.

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