Pixel Scroll 1/10/19 We Built this City on Pixel Scroll

(1) A VALID GRIEVANCE. A message from Marko Kloos — “This post brought to you by the Superhero Writers Union.”

I love writing for Wild Cards. It’s an amazingly detailed world that has been expanded by thirty-plus writers over thirty years, and it’s a ton of fun to be a part of that. I mean, I get to make up my own super-powered characters and then let them loose in a playground that has been constantly expanded and improved for three decades. And the Wild Cards consortium is just stacked with super-nice and super-talented people.

That said, there’s one thing that annoys me about being a Wild Cards writer, and that’s entitled Game of Thrones fans.

Every time GRRM posts something on social media about Wild Cards, it takes about five seconds before someone responds with a dismissive one-liner that totally shits on whatever it is he’s trying to promote or announce. And it’s always a variation of the same boring, unoriginal garbage. Finish Winds of Winter. Nobody cares about Wild Cards. WHERE’S THE BOOK, GEORGE? NOT BUYING ANYTHING FROM YOU UNTIL YOU FINISH WINDS OF WINTER. Etcetera, etcetera. Yawn.

GRRM is the editor of Wild Cards (along with Melinda Snodgrass). He edits the books, he doesn’t write them…

(2) CON OR BUST SEEKS NEW DIRECTORS. Kate Nepveu, who started Con or Bust ten years ago, is stepping down from its board, and thus they are seeking up to four new director: “Help shape Con or Bust’s future: join the Board of Directors!”

What does being on the Board involve?

That’s up to the new Board members to decide. In the past, I handled all the day-to-day business, and the rest of the Board reviewed and approved requests for assistance quarterly, and provided advice, suggestions, and approvals regarding policy changes as-needed. The day-to-day business consisted of: the auction, yearly; administering requests for monetary assistance, quarterly; balancing the books, monthly; and general question-answering and email-fielding, weekly-ish.

However, that state of affairs was the result of (1) Con or Bust’s origin as a single-person project and (2) my control-freak tendencies. Since I’m stepping down, the new Board will determine what works best for its members.

Board members are elected for a term of three years.

(3) EXPLAINING THE POPULARITY OF HORROR. An article in the January 4 Financial TImes by Tom Faber contends horror films have become more popular because women are given more roles to play than “victims, sex objects, and she-devils.”

In 2018, however, women in horror were scientist-explorers, dancers, witches, avengers, webcam girls, and mothers both fiercely protective and provocatively ambivalent toward their children.  Meanwhile male characters in the Halloween reboot, (Lucas) Guadagnino’s Suspira and Hereditary were passive and useless.  In one of Suspira’s memorable scenes, witches hypnotise two policemen, laugh at them, and laugh at their genitals.  Could there be a more pointed example of the genre’s gender shift?

As female roles change, the horror audience only grows.  Last year’s Halloween broke the (admittedly specialised) box office record for a film with a female lead over the age of 55.  FrightFest reports more women attending every year.  And more women are getting behind the camera. The Babadook, Raw, and Revenge all offer a thoughtful female perspective  on the genre tropes, exploring motherhood, awakening sexuality and the aftermath of sexual violence without skimping on the gore. This could be a lasting change in the world of horror, even if the genre does end up creeping back into the shadows.

(4) LASSETER BACK IN INDUSTRY. Variety published the explanatory memo: “Skydance CEO Addresses John Lasseter Hire in Memo to Staff: ‘We Have Not Entered Into This Lightly’”

On Wednesday, Skydance announced that it hired Pixar veteran John Lasseter to head its animation division. The decision is bound to come under scrutiny, given the fact that Lasseter was ousted from Pixar in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. In a memo to staff, CEO David Ellison attempted to explain the decision, and noted that Skydance employed a third-party counsel to investigate the allegations. Read the full memo below.

(5) STAR WARS BLOWS UP PRICES AT DISNEYLAND. At Fatherly, Ryan Britt says “Blame ‘Star Wars’ For Huge Price Increase of Disneyland Parks Tickets”. Disney has increased ticket prices by 25 percent to a minimum of $100/day to pay for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge where you can ride the Millennium Falcon and have a drink at the Mos Eisley cantina. The post includes a Disney video called “Fly Through Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.”

Sadly, there aren’t a lot of hacks to get around this, and the reason for the increase almost certainly has to do with the new Star Wars attraction. Touted as an immersive experience, Galaxy’s Edge will allow visitors to ride the Millennium Falcon and drink real alcohol at a simulacrum of the famous Mos Eisley cantina first glimpsed in the 1977 Star Wars movie, A New Hope. For those of us who remember StarTours from the ’80s and ’90s, this is supposed to be way better than that, though clearly, way more expensive.

(6) GOLDEN AGE SFF ART. Alec Nevala-Lee tells “How Astounding Saw the Future” with an accompanying gallery at the New York Times.

Science fiction has become so central to our culture that it can be easy to take it for granted, but its modern form arose at a specific historical moment. During the genre’s golden age, which is conventionally dated from 1939 to 1950, its ideas were refined by a relative handful of authors, editors and artists — and its most immediate impact came through its illustrations. Out of the pulps emerged an entire visual language that relied on striking painted covers to attract newsstand buyers, and while it took years for the stories inside to live up to readers’ dreams, the pictures were often unforgettable from the beginning.

This evolution is clearly visible in the magazine best known as Astounding Science Fiction, the most influential title in the history of the field, and in its sister publication, Unknown, which played much the same role for fantasy. Most of the art was produced by commercial freelancers in New York who collaborated closely with editors. The interior drawings tended to strictly follow the text, but cover artists could let their imaginations run wild. Thanks in large part to their work, science fiction in the midcentury achieved its enduring sense of wonder, and its images from this period may turn out to be the genre’s most lasting contribution to our collective vision of the future.


  • January 10, 1927 — Fritz Lang’s Metropolis had its world premiere in his native Germany.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 10, 1904Ray Bolger. The Scarecrow In The Wizard of Oz, the villainous Barnaby in Babes in Toyland, two appearances on Fantasy Island, and Vector In “Greetings from Earth” on the seventies version of Battlestar Galactica. (Died 1987.)
  • Born January 10, 1937 Elizabeth Anne Hull, 82. She has served as the President of the Science Fiction Research Association and editor of its newsletter. She has been a member of the panel for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel since 1986. With her husband Frederik Pohl, Hull edited the Tales from the Planet Earth anthology. She is also the editor of the Gateways: Original New Stories Inspired by Frederik Pohl anthology. She has co-authored three short stories with him, “Author Plus”, “The Middle Kingdom” and “Second Best Friend”.
  • Born January 10, 1942 Walter Hill, 77. Film director, screenwriter producer of such genre fare as the Alien franchise, Streets of Fire (it’s genre, it’s it?), several espies odes of the Tales from the Crypt series, Tales from the CryptDemon KnightPerversions of Science, an episode of Deadwood and Prometheus. 
  • Born January 10, 1944 William Sanderson, 75. I remember him best as J. F. Sebastian, the possibly insane genetic designer working for Tyrell in Blade Runner but he’s had a career obviously after that film including appearing as Skeets in The Rocketeer, voicing Dr. Karl Rossum on Batman: The Animated Series, playing the character Deuce on Babylon 5 (a series I’ve watched through at least three times), E. B. Farnum on Deadwood (ok, it’s not genre, but it’s Will and Emma’s favorite show so let’s let it slide) and Sheriff Bud Dearborne on True Blood
  • Born January 10, 1944Jeffrey Catherine Jones. She was an artist providing more than a hundred and fifty covers for many different types of genre books through mid seventies including the Ace paperback editions of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series. Among her work was also Flash Gordon for Charlton Comics in the Sixties and the  Conan Saga for Marvel Comics in the late Eighties. (Died 2011.)
  • Born January 10, 1947 George Alec Effinger. I’ve read his Marîd Audran series at least twice as it’s an amazing series in both the characters and the setting. I never read the short stories set in this setting until Golden Gryphon Press sent me Budayeen Nights for Green Man to review.  I don’t think I’ve ever encountered any of his other works — was he on presses that would’ve been in general bookstores that carried SF (Died 2002.)

(9) BUDRYS. Yesterday, Rich Horton posted “Birthday Review: Early Short Stories (and one obscure novel) by Algis Budrys”. He says, “I always think Algis Budrys needs to be better remembered, so on what would have been his 88th birthday, I put together a set of reviews of some of his 1950s stories.”

Algis Budrys was just a couple of months older than my father, and he’d have turned 88 today. He was one of my favorite SF writers. His best work, in my opinion, came mostly in the 1960s — the remarkable novel Rogue Moon, the underappreciated novel The Amsirs and the Iron Thorn, and such stories as “For Love”, “Wall of Crystal Eye of Night”, “Be Merry”, and a non-SF story, “The Master of the Hounds”. He also did excellent later work: “The Silent Eyes of Time”, “A Scraping at the Bones”, and the novels Michaelmas and Hard Landing. Late in his life he edited the interesting small press magaine tomorrow (which became one of the first magazines to transition online), before an unfortunate final act working for Writers of the Future.

(10) DC COLLECTIBLES. “Important Toy News: DC’s Hot Properties Village is the best fictional real estate”SYFY News has the story.

…Up for pre-order starting this week, Enesco’s Hot Properties Village follows in line with the well-known Department 56 “Village” brand. Instead of Swiss chalets and winter-themed Americana, Enesco is turning its attention to the major landmarks of the DC Universe. The company has already been putting out Christmas ornaments featuring some DC characters, but this new direction for the license opens up all kinds of possibilities, beginning with Wayne Manor, the Daily Planet, and the Batcave.

All three ceramic replicas include light-up elements, a key feature for display purposes. The scales are a little off between the various buildings, but that helps to keep all the various entries shelf-sized. Still, the Superman flying around the Daily Planet is comically oversized compared to the building, and the same could be said for the Bruce and Alfred that accompany Wayne Manor. At least the Batmobile looks like it could actually fit through the Batcave entrance. Sadly, the ’66 Batman and Robin to go with that cave entrance are sold separately….

(11) NONBREAKING NEWS. John Scalzi takes stock of his detractors in “And Now, the Dickhead Report”.

… Beyond that, it does seem that most of the dickheads who used to rail about me have either moved on or sunk themselves into obscurity or both. The fellow most enthusiastic about being a jackass in my direction over the years has recently fixated on someone else, which is nice for me and apparently harmless enough for the fellow he’s fixed himself upon. The object of his affections doesn’t seem to be suffering any real negative effect from the jackass’ constant need to attach himself, lamprey-like, to someone else’s career in the hope of gobbling up leftover crumbs. He’ll occasionally still snark in my direction, and mutter something to his sockpuppets about my blog visits, which, fine. But I don’t think his heart’s much into it anymore. He’s found a new crush, and I wish him joy.

Outside that dude, there’s a small group of indie writers (and their fans) who have used me as a fetish object in their never-ending war against the SJW-ing of science fiction, but that’s mostly just, like, six dudes reminding each other they’re in the “I Hate Scalzi” club over and over. Again, it’s not done me any harm, so let them have their whine circle if it makes them happy. But they seem to do it less now, as far as I can see. Among the former Sad Puppies, a couple of them will still hitch the strawman version of me to their chariot and drag it around the walls of their compound, to desultory cheers. But honestly, that was soooo long ago now. In the here and now, most of them are busy trying to build (or rebuild, as the case may be) their careers, and that’s probably a better use of their time. Good luck to them….

(12) DEEP BEEP. “Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected” according to the BBC.

Astronomers have revealed details of mysterious signals emanating from a distant galaxy, picked up by a telescope in Canada.

The precise nature and origin of the blasts of radio waves is unknown.

Among the 13 fast radio bursts, known as FRBs, was a very unusual repeating signal, coming from the same source about 1.5 billion light years away.

Such an event has only been reported once before, by a different telescope.

“Knowing that there is another suggests that there could be more out there,” said Ingrid Stairs, an astrophysicist from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

“And with more repeaters and more sources available for study, we may be able to understand these cosmic puzzles – where they’re from and what causes them.”

(13) THE NEXT BIG BUSINESS. The Verge tells how “Fixing broken satellites in space could save companies big money”.

When your satellite breaks in space, as DigitalGlobe’s did on Monday, there isn’t an easy way to repair it. Technology that’s currently on the horizon may change that, however, allowing satellite providers to staunch their financial losses and get more out of their investments.

For DigitalGlobe, the loss was brutal: an Earth-imaging satellite called WorldView-4, which had clients that include Google Maps. A critical instrument needed to stabilize the spacecraft has stopped working properly. Now, the satellite can’t take decent pictures of Earth for DigitalGlobe’s customers, and there seems to be no way to fix the damage. 

WorldView-4 generated $85 million in revenue for Maxar, DigitalGlobe’s parent company, in fiscal year 2018, and the spacecraft is insured for $183 million. (Maxar says it intends to seek all of that money.) But if a servicing company offered a way to repair the satellite in orbit, for tens of millions of dollars, Maxar wouldn’t be facing as big of a financial hole. WorldView-4 just needs a new working gyroscope to get things up and running again.

(14) WINTERPROOF. Wired assures readers that “Snow can’t stop the Edward Scissorhands of Flying Cars”.

Plattsburgh, New York, is a tough place to be outside in early January. The small city sits on the western shore of Lake Champlain, 20 miles south of the Canadian border. I’ve just arrived with Kyle Clark and a few of his colleagues, after a quick flight in a 40-year-old Cessna from Burlington, Vermont, on the other side of the lake. It’s snowing, and as we shuffle across the mostly abandoned former Air Force base toward a secluded hangar, I ask Clark if the weather might ice today’s flight plans.

He looks at me and laughs, opening the hangar door. “Not a chance.”

…Clark will have none of such worries. He bounds into the cavernous building that once housed B-52 bombers and introduces me to the Ava XC. The gleaming white contraption, with stilt-like landing gear and eight propellers jutting out in every direction, looks like what Tony Stark would build if he had an Edward Scissorhands phase.

(15) STAND UP FOR READING. In Illinois there’s a school using giant book murals to encourage reading.

For many students, this week saw the end of the Christmas break and a return to school.

However, one school in Illinois, US, has taken a novel and eye-catching approach to motivating its students in the new year.

Students of Mundelein High returned to find six floor-to-ceiling book covers lining the corridor of the school’s English department.

The vinyl prints, which wrap around sections of wall like the jackets of giant books, flank the doorways of three of the school’s English classrooms.

The school explained in a post on Facebook that a “routine hallway has been transformed into a giant motivational tableau to encourage reading”.

Lockers done over as Harry Potter book covers.

(16) ALLEGED VAMPIRES. Fox’s The Passage kicks off Season 1 on Monday — Preview: There’s No Such Thing As Vampires.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, ULTRAGOTHA, Karl-Johan Norén, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

140 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/10/19 We Built this City on Pixel Scroll

  1. re the birthday of Jeffrey Catherine Jones …

    At the 2007 World Fantasy Con in Saratoga Springs, NY there was a stunning retrospective show of her artwork organized by Robert K Wiener. To see these paintings for magazine and book covers in their full size was just stunning.

  2. (8) William Sanderson – Hi. I’m Larry. This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.

    Newhart may not have been genre, per se, but there was some magical realism going on here and there.

  3. EArwormed!

    8) My friend Fred Kiesche is currently re-reading Effinger (and not happy with the Kindle formatting of the omnibus). I need to re-read him too in my copious free time.

    6) Saw that. Alec’s book is on my reading list…

  4. Pittsburg, NY does not have the terminal “h”. As a former Pittsburgher, I feel it necessary to defend the uniqueness of our final consonant.

    Yes, this is the most trivial hill on which I am willing to die. 🙂

  5. 8) I found Effinger earlier this year and was absolutely stunned. Fantastic books.

    12) A neglected sci fi plot- figuring out if it’s aliens or not.

  6. The reason the Puppies don’t bother with John Scalzi is because he’s boring and irrelevant. His derivative writings add nothing to the genre, sell increasingly less and less, and are not worth commenting on anymore.

    Look at the difference in the reviews on Amazon of The Collapsing Empire and The Consuming Fire. TCE elicited a lot of critical reviews, TCF hardly any. The reason is, the puppies realized attacking Scalzi helped him more than it hurt. What is far more toxic to a hack writer whose career is based more on self-promotion than literary quality is to be ignored. If you look at The Consuming Fire’s sales rankings, it sank like a stone compared to TCE. Scalzi knows this, which is why he’s now trying to provoke his detractors into renewed attacks. He understands in marketing there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    Sorry, John. The Puppies are just quietly smiling smugly as you fade away.

  7. 8) Hurra for Effinger! Loved those Audran books.

    11) All the trolls seem busy fighting each other around comicsgate nowadays, screaming SJW at every possible moment. It is a weird spectacle.

  8. @Hampus
    Except for the one that just showed up here. Poor baby, can’t pass up a chance to take a cheap shot at a much better author than his fave of the moment.

  9. P J Evans: We wouldn’t know how little they cared if they didn’t show up to tell us….

  10. The Puppies are just quietly smiling smugly as you fade away.
    Good job cherry-picking.

    Bless your heart

  11. Look how quietly they are smiley smugling. Very very quietly smiley smugling. No one would notice if it wasn’t for the hallucinating screeds that preface the smiley smugling. But quiet they are. Not bothering the least.

  12. 11) So can someone give me a hint of who this is?

    Scalzi says:

    The fellow most enthusiastic about being a jackass in my direction over the years has recently fixated on someone else…

    (The new fixation, that is, not the jackass himself.)

  13. Meredith Moment:

    The three Binti books by NNedi Okorafor are part of the KDD at Amazon US, priced at $1.99 each.

    New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson is also in the KDD at $2.99.

    Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos is $1.99.

  14. Poor Scalzi will just have to cry himself to sleep on his mattress full of money.

    (Failing? Really? I could WISH to “fail” like Scalzi. The Collapsing Empire “failed” its way onto the New York Times Bestseller List, a Locus Award, and a Hugo finalist nod..)

  15. Meredith Moment 2.0:

    In His Majesty’s Service: Three Novels of Temeraire, with the first three novels of the series by Naomi Novik, is on sale at Amazon US for $2.99.

  16. My first introduction to George Alec Effinger was through Nightmare Blue, a sci-fi thriller written in collaboration with Gardner Dozois. It’s actually pretty nifty…. It came out in the UK in the comparatively obscure Fontana paperback line (most of my paperbacks from that era are Panther/Granada, Pan, Arrow, Orbit, NEL or Penguins.)

  17. Reading: I’m currently about 1/3 of the way into Alliance Rising, the brand new Union/Alliance novel (although technically it predates both the Union and the Alliance) from C.J. Cherryh and Jane Fancher, and I’m enjoying it. As you’d expect from a Cherryh book, it’s tense & slightly claustrophobic, even so far nothing has really happened except for a series of conversations.

    It’ll be interesting after this to continue on to other Union/Alliance books and see how their version of history compares to this — I’m not sure yet if the history is actually being revised, or if it’s just being recontextualized because we’re getting a perspective (an Earth-centric station) that we hadn’t gotten in previous books.

    And the universe remains one that I enjoy reading about but would not want to live in — everybody always seems to be skating along on the ragged edge of disaster, at least until something happens to push them over the aforementioned edge.

  18. >(Failing? Really? I could WISH to “fail” like Scalzi. The Collapsing Empire “failed” its way onto the New York Times Bestseller List, a Locus Award, and a Hugo finalist nod..)

    How did he achieve that? Was it the quality of the novel?

  19. It’s not just Canadian lobster-man but he’s also fixated on the comics industry. For a while it looked like he might be feuding with Ethan Van Sciver over, of all things, who owns the term “Comicsgate.”

  20. @1: I wonder if there’s an app that could shut off those people’s access except for a bombardment of Gaiman’s “GRRM is not your b****” note.

    @3: progress, I suppose. (My tastes don’t run to horror, although I may look farther into the gray area of “dark fantasy” than some.)

    @8: Until nudged by this into checking ISFDB, I’d forgotten Effinger’s title What Entropy Means to Me, which got a major publisher despite its strangeness; another point to the dissed 1970’s. But Audran looks like about the only books from after that decade.

  21. (8) Regarding Effinger distribution: When I stopped by Dark Carnival in Berkeley about a year and a half ago I remember seeing a fairly large stack of Arbor House When Gravity Fails. It struck me as a little odd to see that many copies of the same twenty-year-old book but what do I know? (Ironically, I had picked up a copy elsewhere a couple months earlier.)

    I also grabbed a paperback Wolves of Memory at the library book sale last month, although this means little as said sale has gotten a lot of paperback SF donations recently.

  22. How did he achieve that? Was it the quality of the novel?

    I don’t know of any other way to get a multi-million dollar publishing contract, and a New York Times listing, and awards. Face it; publishers are businesses, they’re in it to make a buck. They’re not going to throw million-dollar contracts at an author they don’t think will make them that much and more. And apparently it’s working for them so far.

    Why do you ask? What are you insinuating? Do you know something I don’t?

  23. @Lela E Buis: >(Failing? Really? I could WISH to “fail” like Scalzi. The Collapsing Empire “failed” its way onto the New York Times Bestseller List, a Locus Award, and a Hugo finalist nod..)

    How did he achieve that? Was it the quality of the novel?

    Gosh, I’m going to go with “By selling a lot of copies and being popular with SF fans.”

  24. In some ways, Scalzi reminds me of Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series or Saberhagen’s Berserker novels. Their writing won’t set your soul on fire, but they all provide solid entertainment and plenty of value for your money.

  25. @Goobergunch: I used to work at Dark Carnival, and I’d guess that the books were probably hardcover remainders, selling for somewhere between five to seven dollars. As for why there were so many of them, well, Jack (the owner) has a tendency to do something that other booksellers stopped doing about thirty years ago, which is to buy stacks of things he thinks will sell over the years. As you may have noticed, Dark Carnival is crowded.

  26. The Marîd Audran books are on my frequently-reread list. Effinger also did a collection of SF sports stories–a decidedly unusual subgenre–called Idle Pleasures, which was a lot of fun. In fact, I’d never considered that such a subgenre might exist before stumbling across the collection. The stereotype is that sports fans and science fiction fans don’t mix, but that is, of course, complete nonsense, as many of us know quite well. 🙂

  27. @Rob Thornton: At minimum, Saberhagen’s Beserker stories gave Roger Zelazny the opportunity to write ‘Itself Surprised’.

  28. Adding +1 to all the George Alec Effinger love…

    Agree that GoT fans are pretty terrible in how they treat the author they supposedly love.

    I am shocked to find that they serve alcohol inside Disneyland now. Adding this to the list of things that will have Walt spinning in his grave…

  29. @PhilRM I believe the NYT bestseller list is due to the invisible hand of the market that the RWNJs and libertarians bang on about. But only when it suits their narrative, of course. Otherwise it’s Fake News !!11!!!

    They should like Scalzi, he’s a pretty solid writer but not high-falutin. One could almost say pulp-ish. I did enjoy TCE a lot, need to find the next one in the library

    I think I only read the first two Marid books, will have to locate them – I thought they gave a very different sense of place and really enjoyed them.

  30. Another +1 for Effinger, at least for his Audran Sequence (the only work of his I’ve read). At the time, it was the best thing going in cyberpunk since NEUROMANCER … until SNOW CRASH was published a year after THE EXILE KISS. I keep meaning to go back and read ENTROPY and the Birnbaum stories. I vaguely remember reading some of his Marvel Comics work, too.

  31. What Effinger is a good pick for readers unfamiliar to his work? I’ve only ever heard of him. Was he seminal to the cyberpunk genre like Gibson or an influencer like Delaney?

  32. @Jon —

    His derivative writings add nothing to the genre, sell increasingly less and less, and are not worth commenting on anymore.


    Current Kindle sales rankings:

    Collapsing Empire — 7955
    Consuming Fire — 5887

    Monster Hunter Memoirs: Saints — 27,476
    Target Rich Environment — 32,110
    Monster Hunter Seige — 20,133
    Monster Hunter Files — 30,088

    ‘Nuff said.

  33. (1) While I love Game of Thrones books, I’d be perfectly happy if he never finished another one, as long as he wrote one more story about the Great and Powerful Turtle instead.

  34. @Jon P.S. —

    Just because trolls who rant about Scalzi inevitably want to rant about Jemisin as well, here are today’s sales rankings for the Broken Earth books:

    Fifth Season — #1,563
    Obelisk Gate — #2,293
    Stone Sky — #2,620

    These numbers are even more amazing when you stop to think about how long Fifth Season has been out. Still going strong! 🙂

    Welcome to reality, Jon.

  35. @JesseBird

    I’d go with When Gravity Fails. Overall I’ve found his work varying a great deal in quality but in that one he hit it out of the park. It’s the first of the Marîd Audran trilogy you see mentioned several times above. The story has some things that circa the mid 80’s you didn’t see much in SFF like a Muslim majority culture, a character in a transsexual relationship, etc. Stuff that wouldn’t draw a blink now but wasn’t done then.

  36. Also, I’m almost done with Expanse S3 and this really is a great show; although I shudder to think how many seasons they’ll need to cover even the first two trilogies.

    And I totally didn’t recognize David Strathairn.

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