Pixel Scroll 1/13/19 It’s A Long Scroll That Has No Turning

(1) STOKER DEADLINE. Horror Writers Association Member Recommendations for the Bram Stoker Awards close on January 15, 2019 11:59 p.m. PST. Administrators warn that no recommendations will be accepted after the dates and times listed.

(2) NAILING DOWN THE DATE. The Minneapolis convention Convergence is moving to the Fourth of July, for reasons explained in a press release.  

…As our community knows, the Convergence Events, Inc. Board of Directors has chosen to move CONvergence from the DoubleTree Bloomington to the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis starting with our twenty-first convention on July 4th – 7th, 2019.  

Due to conditions outside of the Board of Directors’ control, this decision had to be made quickly in order to secure the location for the next five years.  This has resulted in possible convention dates outside our normal convention dates. To do otherwise would have resulted in additional moves to other hotels, more extreme date changes, and/or limited convention space and events.

(3) JEMISIN HIGHLIGHT. The New York Times Magazine features “New Sentences: From N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Ones Who Stay and Fight’”.

N.K. Jemisin’s story “The Ones Who Stay and Fight” takes place in a near-utopia in which everyone is equally valued. Some curious residents, however, cannot resist the urge to eavesdrop on a very different world — one in which inequality is rife and violence is widespread and justice does not prevail: our world. They listen to our radio and watch our TV and tap into our social media. In doing so, they glean information about our ways. This knowledge infects them like a virus. They know there will be severe consequences. And yet the information-gleaners, like info-gleaners everywhere, cannot bring themselves to stop.

(4) GAIMAN READING LE GUIN. Brain Pickings offers a feast of poetry: “Neil Gaiman Reads Ursula K. Le Guin’s Ode to Timelessness to His 100-Year-Old Cousin”.

When my good friend and fellow poetry lover Amanda Palmer asked me to send a poem for her husband, Neil Gaiman, to read to his 100-year-old cousin, Helen Fagin — the Holocaust survivor who composed that arresting letter to children about how books save lives — I chose a poem by one of Neil’s dear friends, Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929–January 22, 2018), found in her final poetry collection, So Far So Good (public library) — one of the loveliest books of 2018.

Amanda immortalized this sweet and rather profound moment in a short video, shared here with the kind permission of everyone involved:

(5) DIABETES RESEARCH AND EDUCATION FUNDRAISER. SFF writer Christopher Rowe is a Clarion West graduate, a SFWA member, and has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Seiun Awards. He emailed: “I was recently (on December 10th, 2018) diagnosed with what was described to me as a ‘dangerously out of control’ case of Type 2 Diabetes. I’ve had to make a lot of life adjustments because of this, as you might imagine. One thing I’m doing is training for the 62-mile leg of the Kentucky edition of this year’s Tour de Cure, an annual fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.”

Rowe’s Tour de Cure page adds:   

I used to be an active road cyclist in and around Central Kentucky, riding from my home in downtown Lexington. But that was years ago, and my beautiful Lemond Tourmalet bicycle has been gathering dust in my workshop for too long to recount.

But I had already decided that 2019 would be the year I return to the road even before I received my diagnosis, and the commitment I have made to taking control of my condition, and to sustained, disciplined self-management through exercise, diet, and scrupulous attention to my healthcare team’s advice, including taking medications, dovetails perfectly with the Tour de Cure.

Please consider making a donation to the American Diabetes Association’s crucial research and educational efforts through this webpage.

I have a ways to go before I’m in the physical shape I’ll need to be in to complete the Tour. We have a ways to go before any of us can rest easy about diabetes. But we’ll get there.

Rowe is already getting strong support from the sff community, and could use lots more: “Quite a few sf/fantasy folks–mainly writers and editors–have donated so far. My colleagues in George RR Martin’s Wild Cards Consortium have been especially generous, and there are more people whose names File 770 readers would recognize if they hadn’t chosen to donate anonymously. I have set myself quite a task with a goal of raising $10,000 by June 1st, but I believe I can do it.”

(6) GAME OF THRONES TEASER. A glimpse of Season 8 of Game of Thrones in “Crypts of Winterfell.”

(7) LASH OBIT. Comics creator Batton Lash died January 12 of brain cancer. He was 65. His wife, Jackie Estrada, said “He died in our home accompanied by friends, family, and caregivers. We have no plans for services yet, but at some point we will have celebrations of life in both San Diego and New York.”

Lash’s Wikipedia entry notes:

He is best known for the series Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre (aka Supernatural Law), a comedic series about law partners specializing in cases dealing with archetypes from the horror genre, which ran as a strip in The National Law Journal, and as a stand-alone series of comic books and graphic novels. He received several awards for his work, including an Inkpot Award, an Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award, an Eisner Award, and nominations for two Harvey Awards.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • January 13, 1930 — Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted in newspapers.
  • January 13, 1957 — The Wham-O Company developed the first frisbee.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 13, 1933Ron Goulart, 86. First I must acknowledge that he is very prolific and uses many pseudonyms  to wit Kenneth Robeson, Con Steffanson, Chad Calhoun, R.T. Edwards, Ian R. Jamieson, Josephine Kains, Jillian Kearny, Howard Lee, Zeke Masters, Frank S. Shawn, and Joseph Silva. (Eeek!) you did the see Doc Savage one in there, didn’t you? I’m reasonably sure that the I’ve read a lot of his fiction including the Flash Gordon series, his Avenger series, maybe a bit of the Vampirella novels, the Incredible Hulk definitely, not the Groucho Marx series though it sounds fun, and, well, damn he’s prolific. So what have you have read by him that you like? 
  • Born January 13, 1943 Richard Moll, 76. Ahhh though I remember him best from Night Court that’s not genre, but I’ve found that he voiced Harvey Dent aka Two-Face on Batman: The Animated Series with other appearances on Buck Rogers in the 25th CenturyMork & MindyFantasy IslandJurassic: Stone AgeHeadless HorsemanScary Movie 2The Flintstones and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn
  • Born January 13, 1945 Joy Chant, 74. Chant is an odd case as she only wrote for a short period between 1970 and 1983 but she produced a brilliant fantasy trilogy, the House of Kendreth trilogy, consisting of  Red Moon and Black Mountain, The Grey Mane of Morning and When Voiha Wakes. Her other main work, and it is without doubt truly brilliant, is The High Kings, illustrated lavishly by George Sharp and  designed by David Larkin with editing by Ian and Betty Ballantine. It is intended as a reference work on the Arthurian legends and the Matter of Britain with her amazing retellings of the legends. I’ve got one reference to her writing Fantasy and Allegory in Literature for Young Readers but no cites for it elsewhere. 
  • Born January 13, 1947 Peter Elson. Illustrator whose life was far too short as he died of a heart attack. If you were reading SF between the early seventies and the late eighties, it’s likely that you saw his astonishing artwork. I found him doing covers for the Sphere edition of Asimov’s Pebble in the Sky, a Mayflower edition of Leiber’s Swords Against Death and a Methuen edition in Canada on Zelazny’s To Die in Italbar, but a few of the several hundred covers he did. There’s an excellent website for him here: http://www.peterelson.co.uk/ (Died 1998.)
  • Born January 13, 1952 Jonathan R. Eller, 67. Scholar, Ray Bradbury specialist in this case. Two full length works, Becoming Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury Unbound, plus some thirty shorter works including “Textual Commentary (The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury: A Critical Edition: Volume I: 1938-1943)” and “Annotations (Match to Flame: The Fictional Path to Fahrenheit 451)”.  He interviewed Bradbury twice, once in Cemetery Dance #65, listed as being published in 2011. 
  • Born January 13, 1960 Mark Chadbourn, 59. I’ve read his Age of Misrule series in which the Celtic Old Gods are returning in modern times and they’re not very nice. It’s followed by the Dark Age series which is just as well crafted. His two Hellboy novels are actually worth reading as well.

(10) BROADWAY FANDOM’S ANNUAL GATHERING. BroadwayCon was held this weekend (January 11-13) in New York City. Martin Morse Wooster looked into it and learned, “It’s like a fan con, with parties, a dealer’s room, cosplay, and getting autographs but it’s for theater geeks in Manhattan!  So they have panels like ‘My Descent Into HAMILTON Fandom.’  I learned that fans of the musical Newsies are ‘Fansies.’  I think I would enjoy the ‘Shakespeare Lovers’ Meetup.’”

Wooster discovered this parallel fandom because Three on the Aisle,” a theater podcast he likes, did a live session there. He continues –

BroadwayCon is put on by Mischief Management and was co-founded by Melissa Anelli. She comes out of Harry Potter fandom and wrote Harry: A History, which I read and is an entertaining book if you want to read about really obsessed Harry Potter fans. Mischief Management’s other cons are Con of Thrones in Nashville for Game of Thrones fans and two LeakyCons for Harry Potter fans, which will be held this year in Dallas and Boston.

(11) WIN SOME, LOSE SOME. BBC says the end may be near: “Spektr-R: Russia’s only space telescope ‘not responding'”.

Russia’s only space radio telescope is no longer responding to commands from Earth, officials say.

Astro Space Centre chief Nikolai Kardashev said some of the Spektr-R satellite’s communication systems had stopped working.

But it was still transmitting scientific data, RIA Novosti news agency reports.

The telescope has been operational way beyond its expected five-year lifespan, Russia’s space agency Roskosmos says.

(12) STRUMMIN’ ON THE OLD BANJO. John Scalzi outlines his “Revenue Streams, 2018” for Whatever readers. Domestic and foreign sales, TV/movie options, speaking engagements, etc., and a little comic relief —

10. Download/Streaming payments on my music: Wait, what, now? Weirdly, it’s true! I have an album of music you can download or stream, and apparently people actually have or do, since the payments show up in my PayPal account. I made dozens of dollars with my music last year! Dozens!!!

(13) ON ANNIHLATION. Lessons from the Screenplay brings viewers “Annihilation — The Art of Self-Destruction.”

(14) SELF-PROPELLED MEALS ON WHEELS. Food & Wine enthuses about the “Fleets of Snack-Wielding Robots to Invade College Campuses”.

The days when hungry college students had to physically walk to the cafeteria (or the dorm room vending machine, or the corner convenience store) to get a snack are numbered. This week, PepsiCo unleashed a fleet of snack-wielding, self-driving robots across the University of the Pacific’s Stockton, California campus. If all goes well, college snack-bots could become a pretty common sight in the not-so-distant future. 

…The robots were made in collaboration with Bay Area-based Robby Technologies, who say of their creations: “the size and dimensions evoke feelings of a small pet walking down the street.” They’re not wrong! According to a press release, the kinda-cute delivery-bots can travel over 20 miles on a single charge, and are outfitted with cameras and headlights that allow them to navigate in full darkness or rain. They’re also equipped with all-wheel drive, which lets them climb steep hills and handle curbs without tipping over. 

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

50 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/13/19 It’s A Long Scroll That Has No Turning

  1. 14
    In Stockton they won’t have to deal with steep hills. (It’s a very flat city.) The ones at UCBerkeley will get a workout on theirs.

    In sort-of-related news, in Antarctica they’re using a slightly modified version of a drill developed for Mars exploration to get to bedrock under ice.

    Here in 8565, the snackbots are better at travelling, but they have too little junk food.

  2. @9: niggle: “Kenneth Robeson” was a house name, rather than a pseudonym for one author. I don’t recognize any of the others, so I can’t say which were his specifically and which were publisher properties. (I have the impression he’d write whatever was needed, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there are other house names yet to be discovered.) I mostly like his short work under his own name; the zaniness tends to pall at longer lengths — although it’s been long enough since I’ve read anything of his that I’m not sure what rereading would be like.

    @14: 50 years ago there was talk of the 5-10 pounds students would gain on arrival at residential colleges, from the excess of starch and the sometimes-unlimited portions. Since then people have become more food-conscious — but I can just see these mobiles pushing against the improvement.

  3. I didn’t think ANNIHILATION made much sense but Michael Tucker is clearly a smart guy and I enjoyed his take on the film.

  4. @2 Convergence was the last SFF/Anime con to flee the DoubleTree and its hostile management (The staff there remained great all along). The board really should’ve been planning the move to the Hyatt several years ago, but several board members were willfully obtuse to reality. Sentimental attachment for a building that was the destination for Minnesota and upper midwest fandom for decades, and which many fan con volunteers knew it better than some of the hotel staff, doesn’t really amount for much when the DoubleTree chain management itself is hostile to conventions. (Perhaps not just geeky ones, I’ve heard the chain overall is not a good fit for conventions of any sort.)

    I’m kind of shocked that after last year’s radio silence from the board about wether there was even going to be a Convergence in 2018 that they released this. At least it gives the core volunteers time to plan, which they did not have last year.

  5. When did Goulart write Doc Savage? (I’m presuming it was Savage and not The Avenger.) I’m not disputing: I expect he really did, and it was in a 60s or 70s reboot, maybe, or even later. Much earlier than that, he’d have to’ve been one of those child tragedies.

  6. (9) Ron Goulart has also written as “William Shatner.”

    My favorite Goulart novel is After Things Fell Apart. It is a gently absurd novel about a near-future California. The absolute best Goulart book title, however, is Shaggy Planet.

  7. I remember Ron Goulart saying if he realized how well the “William Shatner” pseudonym would sell, he’d have started using it earlier.

    I have reread his short story “Into the Shop” many times.

  8. Convergence still hasn’t announced their Guest of Honor lineup for Convergence 2019, either. It almost makes me wonder if they’re trying to shrink the attendence of the convention, similar to what happened with Minicon when they imploded.

  9. Kip Williams asks When did Goulart write Doc Savage? (I’m presuming it was Savage and not The Avenger.) I’m not disputing: I expect he really did, and it was in a 60s or 70s reboot, maybe, or even later. Much earlier than that, he’d have to’ve been one of those child tragedies.

    It was The Avenger according to ISFDB. Eleven in a year in the mid 70s for Warner Aspect with such names as The Man from Atlantis, The Nightwitch Devil and The Purple Zombie. Yes it was as Kenneth Robeson.

    It looks like Ron wrote much of the TekWar novels that Shatner is credited with. ISFDB says he wrote five of them.

  10. Another birthday: Clark Ashton Smith, born January 13,1893. He might be my favorite of the original Weird Tales big three (including Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard) — he wrote short, often pointed stories with a lush and exotic vocabulary. My favorite stories of his are those set on Zothique, the last continent of a dying earth; if I had to choose just one, it’d probably be The Dark Eidolon.

    http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/212/the-dark-eidolon

  11. @Joe H

    My favourite is The Seven Geases, but The Dark Eidolon is more quintessentially Smith. (And it is hard to choose… I went looking for the title of The Empire of the Necromancers and found three or four other favourites on the way.)

  12. Seven Geases is also great; and I’d put forth The Tale of Satampra Zeiros as another favorite.

    My first encounter with Smith was a paperback copy of the Pocket Timescape City of the Singing Flame. The first Smith book I actually owned was a used copy of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Hyperborea. Or maybe it was Poseidonis — one of those two.

    (Someone in my relatively small midwestern home town must’ve had a bunch of BAF paperbacks in their collection because I was able to find random titles in the local used bookstore back in the 1980s.)

  13. @ Joe H.

    I have not gone on a big hunt for Clark Ashton Smith books yet, but I did really enjoy a short story collection called Return of the Sorcerer: The Best of Clark Ashton Smith. The choice blurb from Gene Wolfe on the front didn’t hurt. 🙂

  14. 13)
    I note Annhilation is now on Amazon Prime. Going to have to give it a rewatch

    @BruceA I know they are working on the Invited Participants list now…because I got my email about that this weekend (much to my crushing disappointment, for the second straight year after years of being invited, I was NOT invited

    So, soon, maybe?

  15. @Joe H

    I discovered Smith in the “Cthulhu Mythos” section of the first edition of Deities & Demigods – Abhoth was included along with the Lovecraft staples – and found some collections of his stories in my local library when I was thirteen or so. I don’t think I owned any until the Night Shade collected edition came out but I used to re-read the library’s copies regularly, and later there was the online archive.

    And now I look it up, I recognise The Tale of Satampra Zeiros as the first Smith story I read. I’m generally good at remembering books – people sometimes complain that I should use that memory space for irrelevant things like people’s birthdays or the names of close relatives – but it’s still impressive how much of his stuff stayed with me.

  16. @Bruce A: there was a concom announcement of many of the CVG 2019 guests last weekend at a concom meeting, and my understanding is that there are several more almost ready to be announced, and then there will be a general announcement and websites updated. There have been several known (Brother Guy is one) for a while, and some were announced at closing ceremony and other meetings, but the website hasn’t been updated yet.

  17. (2) Correction: CONvergence is not “moving to the Fourth of July”. That is the traditional date, which is staying the same for 2019. It is moving away from the Fourth of July for 2020-2022.

  18. 13) Very cool interpretation. How did I miss the relationship between macro-scale duplication and cell splitting? He could also have mentioned, I think, the parallels between duplication and optical reflection, and mutation and optical refraction.

    This is the second time I’ve recently heard/read about SF’s ability to take a metaphor and express it literally. I like that idea, and it was something I tried to do way back in the 80s when I was trying to write fiction.

  19. 14) I wonder if they have given any thought to how they would handle snow and ice. There are certainly college campuses where that would be an issue.

    11) An issue with Spectr? Has James Bond been notified?

  20. @Rob Thornton — Yeah, I’m not impressed with the art on the new edition; but it’s probably the single best one-volume collection of CAS stories out there.

  21. (9) Other natal people:
    Albert Lamorisse (1/13/1922 – 6/2/1970) French filmmaker responsible for the 1956 fantasy short The Red Balloon, which I saw in elementary school 45 years ago and has haunted me since. Also invented the board game Risk.

    Gwen Verdon (1/13/1925 – 10/18/2000) Tony-winning Actress/dancer who originated the role of “Lola” in Damn Yankees on Broadway (where she met future husband Bob Fosse); went on to play her in the 1958 movie. Also was in Cocoon (1985) and Cocoon: The Return (1988).

    Michael Bond (1/13/1926 – 6/27/2017) British author who told of Paddington Bear in over 20 books, printed in over 35 million copies.

    Orlando Bloom (b. 1/13/1977) Actor. I’ve heard he has some genre credits, but they escape me at the moment.

  22. Another for Seven Geases here. I started with second-hand Panther paperbacks (and there’s a Bruce Pennington cover I really love (volume 2 of Lost Worlds if you must know)

    When the Nightshade collections were announced I bought a subscription and I don’t regret it. His SF hasn’t aged as well as the fantasy and horror, but it is Of it’s time.

  23. (6) Another reminder that I still haven’t finished season 7. But boy, do I hate the mad pirate!

  24. Bill adds to the Birthday list Michael Bond (1/13/1926 – 6/27/2017) British author who told of Paddington Bear in over 20 books, printed in over 35 million copies.

    You know I saw him when I was putting together the Birthday but wasn’t sure that terribly cute bears such as Paddington Bear fell within genre boundaries. Are they a fantasy trope? I know they are when they show up in such works as Simon Green’s Shadows Fall Which is well within the boundaries of the genre but are these books genre?

  25. A sentient talking bear out of deepest Peru works as Fantasy for me!

    Paddington 2 is eligible for Best Dramatic Presentation, long form this year. And while I’d be surprised if it wins over Black Panther or Spiderman or Wonder Woman I’d accept it’s win with equanimity.

  26. Sorry to hear about Batton Lash’s death. I had no idea he was ill. I’ve been a fan of Wolff & Byrd/Supernatural Law for years. Got the last GN volume of the series via kickstarter last year.

  27. @Martin Wooster – Did you read the series? I haven’t watched the movie yet, so I don’t want to read that article, but I’m curious what you thought of the books, if you read them. I read them a few months back, and dug them quite a bit.

    @Joe H. – Love Clark Ashton Smith!

    @Rob Thornton – “A Rendezvous in Averoigne” was my introduction to Clark Ashton Smith (with that particular cover art from the version you linked to). I was just thinking I should re-read that volume.

    Oh dear, just realized I’m posting from 1129, so please mentally rewrite the temporal reference in this post to “will have/will be, in about 900 years.”

  28. If Joy Chant was born in 1945 she’d be 74, not 64. I read Red Moon Black Mountain when it came out as a Ballantine Adult Fantasy book in the early seventies, so I was initially pretty amazed to think she wrote it when she was 15 or so. Still, it’s pretty impressive that she was around 25 when she wrote it.

  29. Lisa Goldstein, thanks! Should’ve got that one before I sent it out but didn’t. My bad. And yes it’s impressive she wrote that novel at that age. Pity she stopped writing fiction altogether.

  30. (7) Batton Lash, whom I got to know at various comic cons, drew the cover of my book, Super Bad Hair Day. On my website’s Batton Lash’s Holly artwork page from my blog, you can see the designing from Batton and myself of my book’s superheroine, Super Holly Hansson.

    Batton was a great guy to work with. He was classy, professional (well, duh, he was a pro!), friendly, and kind enough to do great artwork for a small-time writer like me. Super Holly is shedding tears. I will miss him.

  31. Kathodus: No, I haven’t read anything by VanderMeer except for WONDERBOOK, which I thought had many good things in it.

  32. @Cora Buhlert

    re: Michelle Yeoh

    Well, between this, Discovery and Patrick Stewart’s show, that definitely makes my paying for a year of CBS All Access worth it.

  33. Re CBS All Access. Once both shows are up and running, yes. Right now, I’m doing a combination of the DC Universe service and the Marvel Unlimited comics service. Between the two and various book sources, it’s more than enough entertainment per month for me. The third season of Young Justice on the Dc Universe service is just awesome.

  34. Oh, I forgot that they had announced Brother Guy Consolmagno as a guest of honor. I suppose I shouldn’t complain since I haven’t been volunteering for them, but I’m a bit surprised that they haven’t already added the confirmed guests of honor to the website to encourage people who are on the fence before the price goes up. I suppose a $10 increase after tomorrow probably won’t turn away that many people though.

  35. @Bruce A
    Huh. Forgot about Brother Guy being announced also.
    I wonder if a bunch of the webteam quit too. It’s usually more together than this long before this time in the cycle. Not having gone to the concom meeting last Saturday, I wouldn’t know. (Probably won’t be going until a couple rather particularly toxic people are no longer on the board…)

  36. @Cate Eldridge
    . . . wasn’t sure that terribly cute bears such as Paddington Bear fell within genre boundaries. Are they a fantasy trope?

    I’m more of an SF than Fantasy person, so my opinions aren’t hard over on this (or of much use otherwise). I was surprised when I started reading File770 to find out that many consider talking animal stories to be Fantasy. I can see the argument, but the field is so big it would seem to me that if it were included with Fantasy as a part of the genre, it could conceivably dominate it. You’ve got Aesop, Brer Rabbit, Warner (and other studios) cartoons, Brothers Grimm, etc. etc. They seem to be more “like” Fantasy than “part of” [what I consider to be] Fantasy. But in the spirit of not “wanting to impose my standards” on others (sheesh . . .), I adopted a “big tent” view of the situation and included Michael Bond here.

    @Ray Radlein
    @bill Re: Gwen Verdon I assume you’ve heard about this? [Fosse/Verdon trailer]

    Oh yes. Mark Evanier was all over this a couple days ago, and he is a daily read. And the more I see Sam Rockwell, the more I appreciate what an good actor he is.

  37. @ bill

    If talking animals aren’t fantasy, then I don’t know what is. Call it a subgenre if you like.

  38. @Bill
    While gathering my nominations for the Retro Hugo Awards a few years ago, I was debating whether to add a Disney cartoon where Donald Duck and his nephews go camping and meet Chip ‘n Dale, because it didn’t have any overt fantasy elements beyond talking ducks in camper vans and intelligent chipmunks tormenting talking ducks.

    And then I thought, “It’s a talking duck who drives a camper van and intelligent chipmunks. Of course, it’s fantasy.”

  39. I read a fair amount of Goulart when I was young. He was never one of my favorites, but he was pretty consistent at producing decent-to-good light-and-frothy entertainment which kept me coming back for more, even if little of it stood out as exceptional. (Which at least means that none of it was exceptionally bad–something I can’t say about many much-better-known writers.) 🙂

    Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I read any, and the “little of it stood out” part means I’m not sure what to recommend–or even if I’d still be willing to recommend it. But I definitely enjoyed it at the time.

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