Pixel Scroll 1/25/18 Side Effects Of Pixel Can Include Enlarged Mt. TBRs

(1) CELEBRATING A HALF CENTURY OF BRITISH COMICS FANDOM. Rob Hansen also sent a link to Blimey! The Blog of British Comics where you can get a free download of Fanscene, “a monster (300+ page) one-off fanzine done to celebrate 50 years of comics fandom in the UK.”

It’s only available in .pdf form and download links can be found here: “Celebrate the 50th anniversary of UK fandom with FANSCENE!”

Rob Hansen’s piece starts on p.133 in part 2 of the download links.

(2) CAST A GIANT SHADOW. The members of the actual 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award jury are:

Dave Hutchinson, Gaie Sebold, Paul March-Russell, Kari Maund, Charles Christian; and Andrew M. Butler (chair)

(3) BADLY MISUNDERSTOOD. Cara Michelle Smith explains “Just Because Voldemort Assembled an Army of Warlocks to Destroy All Muggles, It Doesn’t Mean He’s ‘Anti-Muggle’” at McSweeney’s.

Look, I know how things might seem. When it comes to being sensitive to Muggles, Lord Voldemort doesn’t have the best track record, and now he’s gone and mobilized an army of 3,000 warlocks, witches, and wizards and instructed them to destroy any and all Muggles they can find. I also acknowledge that he’s drummed up a fair amount of anti-Muggle sentiment throughout the wizarding world, with the way he’s referred to them as “filthy vermin” and “shitheads from shithole lands.” But did it ever occur to you that despite the Dark Lord having vowed that the streets will soon run red with Muggle blood, Voldemort might as well be, like, the least anti-Muggle guy you’ve ever met?

Let me tell you a little something about the Dark Lord: He loves Muggles. Seriously, the guy’s obsessed with them. They’re all he talks about. He can’t get enough of the funny way Muggles are always babbling about things that are completely foreign to wizards like him — things like student debt, and being able to afford healthcare, and not being systematically murdered by people more powerful than them.

(4) STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE. And McSweeney’s contribute Drake Duffer offers a list of “Things That Begin a Sentence That Indicate You May Need to Refrain From Finishing That Sentence”.

I won’t steal any of his thunder, but you’re going recognize all his examples.

(5) JUNIOR STAR TREK. This video has been on YouTube since 2008, however, it’s news to me!

Back in 1969 ten-year-old Peter (“Stoney”) Emshwiller created his own version of a Star Trek episode using his dad’s 16mm camera. The, um, fabulous special effects were created by scratching on the film with a knife and coloring each frame with magic markers. The movie won WNET’s “Young People’s Filmmaking Contest,” was shown on national television, and, all these years later, still is a favorite at Star Trek Conventions.

 

(6) GOING DOWN TO STONY END. The “Oldest Modern Human Fossil Ever Discovered Outside Africa Rewrites Timeline of Early Migration” reports Newsweek.

An international research team working in Israel has discovered the oldest-known modern human bones ever found outside the African continent: an upper jawbone, including teeth, dated to between 175,000 and 200,000 years old. It shows humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than we had thought.

The scientists unearthed the fossil at Misliya Cave, one in a series of prehistoric caves on Israel’s Mount Carmel, according to a Binghamton University press release. This region of the Middle East was a major migration route when humans spread out from African during the Pleistocene. A paper describing the findings was published in the journal Science.

“Misliya is an exciting discovery,” co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor at Binghamton University, said in the press release. “It provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed. It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges.”

(7) CORRECTION. Rob Hansen sent a correction about the date of Ron Ellik’s death: “I’ve subsequently been informed I got the date of his death wrong and that he died not on the 25th but on the 27th. sigh

Andrew Porter also sent a link to Fanac.org’s scan of his 1968 newzine SF Weekly #215 with complete coverage. Ellik was killed in an auto accident in Wisconsin while moving to St. Paul, MN. He had been planning to be married shortly after the move.

(8) HARRIS OBIT. Mark Evanier paid tribute to the late comics editor in “Bill Harris R.I.P.” at News From ME.

Comic book writer-editor Bill Harris died January 8 at the age of 84.

…One of his innovations when he was in comics was that he was one of the first editors to recognize that there was a promotional value in comic book fanzines. Many of the early zines of the sixties featured letters from Bill, telling fandom what would be forthcoming in the comics he edited. Few others in comics at the time saw any value in that but Harris predicted correctly the growing impact that fanzines and comic conventions would have on the field.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Chip Hitchcock found a medical examiner working in a fairy tale in today’s Bizarro.
  • Chip also spotted a hero who’s made a career change in Bliss.
  • Mike Kennedy saw a kind of Fountain of Youth in Baldo.

(10) WORD. Vox.com has a post “Remembering Ursula Le Guin, Queen of Sass”:

And in 2016, More Letters of Note, Shaun Usher’s most recent collection of important letters written by important people, unearthed another classic Le Guin smackdown. In 1971 she was asked to blurb Synergy: New Science Fiction, Volume 1, the first of a four-volume anthology series that aimed to publish “the most innovative, thought-provoking, speculative fiction ever.” Le Guin was less than amused by the request:

Dear Mr Radziewicz,

I can imagine myself blurbing a book in which Brian Aldiss, predictably, sneers at my work, because then I could preen myself on my magnanimity. But I cannot imagine myself blurbing a book, the first of a new series and hence presumably exemplary of the series, which not only contains no writing by women, but the tone of which is so self-contentedly, exclusively male, like a club, or a locker room. That would not be magnanimity, but foolishness. Gentlemen, I just don’t belong here.

Yours truly,

Ursula K. Le Guin

(11) DENIAL. JDA cannot allow himself to believe that his behavior rather than his politics provokes the criticism directed his way, and so, after Jennifer Brozek spoke out about him (some quoted in yesterday’s Scroll) he blamed others for pressuring her to express those opinions: “How Terrible Gossip Destroys Friendships – My Story With Jennifer Brozek” [link to copy at the Internet Archive.]

(12) APING APES. Scientists in China successfully cloned monkeys, which is the first time primates have been cloned — “Scientists successfully clone monkeys; are humans up next?” Remember Mark Twain’s story about why God created the monkey – “He found out where he went wrong with Man.”

The Associated Press also did a video report:

For the first time, researchers have used the cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep to create two healthy monkeys, bringing science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans.

From New Scientist — “Scientists have cloned monkeys and it could help treat cancer”.

The female long-tailed macaques represent a technical milestone. It should make it possible to create customisable and genetically uniform populations of monkeys, which could speed up treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. But the breakthrough will inevitably raise fears that human cloning is closer than ever.

The monkeys hold such huge potential because they all inherit exactly the same genetic material, says the Chinese team that cloned them.

This would enable scientists to tweak genes the monkeys have that are linked to human disease, and then monitor how this alters the animals’ biology, comparing it against animals that are genetically identical except for the alterations. It could accelerate the hunt for genes and processes that go wrong in these diseases, and ways to correct them, the team says

Kendall sent these links with a comment: “Reading elsewhere about how some fruits and veggies have been quasi-ruined by doing this, I got a little nervous reading the New Scientist say, ‘It should make it possible to create customisable and genetically uniform populations of monkeys, which could speed up treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer.’ Even though they’re not talking about replacing the world’s monkeys with one strain of monkey. Still, this got a little dystopian-animal-cloning idea whirring around in my head.”

(13) HARDER THEY FALL. Here is the I Kill Giants trailer.

From the acclaimed graphic novel comes an epic adventure about a world beyond imagination. Teen Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe, The Conjuring 2) is the only thing that stands between terrible giants and the destruction of her small town. But as she boldly confronts her fears in increasingly dangerous ways, her new school counselor (Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy) leads her to question everything she’s always believed to be true. I Kill Giants is an intense, touching story about trust, courage and love from the producers that brought you Harry Potter.

 

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Kendall, Rob Hansen, Carl Slaughter, JJ, Will R., and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

124 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/25/18 Side Effects Of Pixel Can Include Enlarged Mt. TBRs

  1. That’s not a drinking game, that’s an elaborate form of suicide that involves alcohol poisoning.

    I was trying to figure out how to add “a heavy-handed political viewpoint from someone who constantly complains about having to read other viewpoints” and “yet another comment about how you don’t need trad publishers–you should just write and sell e-books’ from someone beating a dead horse about it.

  2. @Dann —

    What JJ and others have already said.

    I absolutely would have crowed about Clinton’s win to my friends, and on public debate sites that I sometimes frequent. I absolutely would NOT have gone to some random person’s personal Facebook page to do the same thing, ESPECIALLY if it were somebody I might be associated with professionally. That is just stupid. What do you NEVER do with family or coworkers? Discuss religion or politics.

    And your other arguments would carry a lot more weight if you’d bother to be more accurate in your claims, as others have already pointed out.

  3. Weird- I went to check out Rescue Run’s Amazon page because I’ve played the game and was curious… There’s no longer a Kindle version available. Rights/licensing issues? Or Massive Anti-JdA Conspiracy?!???!!1One1!?

    And I’m sure Dann knows the real quote from HRC and just had a brief moment of forgetfulness.

    (/s)

  4. Dann; What the people talking about books and Sad Puppies and their ilk not appearing to read are talking abut is that every time the Puppy-supporters came by and claimed they just loved books, attempts to set them to talk about books they loved seemed to end with most of them not listing any, and many simply falling silent.

    YOU talk about books here all the time. You’ve done it from the start. You recommend the ones you love. You discuss plots and reviews with others. People like to share book talk with you for just that reason.

  5. Dann, the problem that I have with the conspiracy theory is that it requires the programming team, or at least one individual on it, to care so much about politics that they had to look up everyone’s opinions and then determine which people to exclude. In my experience, most people are just not that interested in politics.

    For myself, I never discuss politics at work, and that is what JDA and other writers are doing. Blog posts, tweets, etc. are tools of self promotion. Every pro needs to decide for themselves whether they want to risk alienating some portion of their audience by sounding off on anything more controversial than their latest work and how much they love their dog. You can whine that people are misjudging you or being unfair, but if you want everyone to love you, you can’t write about politics. Even those nominally on your side will find fault with your ideas sometimes.

  6. Books read –

    Dark Run – Mike Brooks. An adequate action/adventure book about the crew of a starship that skirts the edge of the law. Mildly shocking past secrets of reasonably well-written characters are revealed.
    The Falling Woman – Pat Murphy. This starts out really good, but the ending fell flat – nothing was resolved or explained.
    Affinities – Robert Charles Wilson. To get into this book, you had to accept the McGuffin – a near-future algorithm to sort people by personality that actually works and can handle people from all different kinds of backgrounds and cultures. I just can’t believe in it, and that spoiled my enjoyment of an overall well-written book.

  7. Maximillian: Weird- I went to check out Rescue Run’s Amazon page because I’ve played the game and was curious… There’s no longer a Kindle version available. Rights/licensing issues?

    Well, JDA just published a huge smear piece on that publisher’s managing editor. So it’s hardly surprising if they no longer wish to sell his work. I imagine that their contract included verbiage about options available to them, should one of their authors do something to bring them into disrepute, and that those options have now been exercised.

  8. Weird- I went to check out Rescue Run’s Amazon page because I’ve played the game and was curious… There’s no longer a Kindle version available. Rights/licensing issues? Or Massive Anti-JdA Conspiracy?!???!!1One1!?

    The book’s publisher, Evil Girlfriend Media, just announced that it is closing.

  9. bookworm1398: Affinities – Robert Charles Wilson. To get into this book, you had to accept the McGuffin – a near-future algorithm to sort people by personality that actually works and can handle people from all different kinds of backgrounds and cultures. I just can’t believe in it, and that spoiled my enjoyment of an overall well-written book.

    I’m a huge Robert Charles Wilson fan, and that’s exactly where that book failed for me, too. The rest of the book is good, but it sits on a foundation that really undercuts it.

  10. My work environment is very conservative.
    (There is a lifesize cutout of Trump in the boardroom!)
    So, no, I do not discuss politics at work, and I just politely and quietly smile when I hear people talk crap about Clinton or Democrats in general.

    So I quietly smile…a lot.

  11. Reading: I spent most of January reading Dorothy Dunnett’s King Hereafter, which was an investment of time I’m very, very happy to have made; and now I’m making my way through Gardner Dozois’ Book of Swords anthology. After which, in light of recent events, I’m thinking a visit to Earthsea may be in order.

  12. Particularly enjoyed items 1, 3, 10, and 13.

    I’m sure it is theoretically possible that a random Baycon convention staffer convinced everyone to go along with switching up the guest list just so they could disinvite JdA, but not only does it not seem very likely, I’ve never seen any evidence for it. I think accusations of bad behaviour should have more behind them than ‘well, it could happen’. Otherwise they’re just unfounded smears, and I see no reason to entertain them just to prop up someone’s victim complex. The volunteers responsible for rejigging the list don’t deserve that.

    To hear the Puppies you’d think that everything mildly uncomfortable that ever happens is because they’re being oppressed for political reasons. I do think they believe it, but I also think they’re dead wrong. The simplest and most obvious reason for why many people dislike the Puppies is their now years-long record of behaving badly. No other conspiracy-flavoured explanations are necessary.

    By the way, Dann, you have never struck me as the sort to go onto a friend or coworker’s personal internet space and crow about an election victory, nor make it all about you and your victimisation, so I’m not sure why you’re arguing that it’s normal behaviour. I would also appreciate it if you didn’t suggest other Filer’s would have done so if only they had a chance when there’s no indication that that’s true. It isn’t likely to help your case.

  13. The other day, when someone asked the name of the artist* who did the cover (which I actually think is very good) for his steampunk novel, he refused to reveal their name because, he said, that person is no longer speaking to him.

    ROFL!!

    And that is good art. I’m bookmarking the artist’s website.

  14. @Laura —

    And that is good art. I’m bookmarking the artist’s website.

    I know, right? The super genius is not only alienating all the authors and editors who might help his career, but even the cover artists! I actually liked that cover — and now he’s likely to never get another one that good.

    It’s like he thinks nobody remembers anything about bad behavior, or something. Just because evangelicals keep giving Trump “mulligans”, that doesn’t mean anyone is going to treat JDA the same way.

  15. @Lis Carey

    You are correct. She wrote off roughly a fourth of the country. Not half the country.

    Still not a winning play, IMHO.

    @Maximillian

    I very much appreciate your charitable interpretation of my comments.

    @Meredith

    By the way, Dann, you have never struck me as the sort to go onto a friend or coworker’s personal internet space and crow about an election victory, nor make it all about you and your victimisation, so I’m not sure why you’re arguing that it’s normal behaviour. I would also appreciate it if you didn’t suggest other Filer’s would have done so if only they had a chance when there’s no indication that that’s true. It isn’t likely to help your case.

    This seems like a bit of a conflation. JdA has suggested that he had a direct interaction with a con volunteer that ended poorly. It sounded like something that happened between two people that knew one another more directly as opposed to running around online as he did later.

    Separately, I agree that running around leaving….ummm…enthusiastic….comments on other people’s social media feeds is a crappy thing to do. But then again, was he leaving things uninvited, or was he responding to another post by the individual? I have friends that are left of center that post left of center trash. I expect that by posting that sort of stuff, they are inviting a response. For the record, right of center trash exists.

    Like others have suggested, I keep most of my social media reasonably low key. Folks know where I am coming from without my having to be irritating about it. (Unless the mere existence of someone that disagrees is irritating…in which case, I guess I’m irritating) 🙂

    For the record, I suspect that if Mrs. Clinton had won, that Filers’ responses would have run the gamut between reasonable pleasure at the victory all the way through “in your face”. There are a lot of different people here.

    @Lenora Rose

    Thanks very much. I hope to be a useful addition whereever/whenever I’m active.

    @rob_matic

    Last year’s SPFBO winner, The Grey Bastards, was a lot of fun. But I hesitate to give it the “everyone should read it” seal of approval due to a couple of thematic elements. (I was trying to avoid spoiling the plot in this brief review.)

    @rcade

    JdA claimed to have an interaction with one member of the con staff. So let’s be charitable all around. They had an exchange that ended poorly in a way that left open the possibility of further action.

    The con staff decided to shake up the line-up and JdA made it on the cut-list without any effort by the one staffer.

    Given that we live in a world where the slightest deviation from the “correct” political narrative can result in significant negative reactions, why shouldn’t he be suspicious? It kind of puts the con in a catch-22 situation. I’m not criticising their desire to shake things up. Just pointing out the problems of being in a polarized society where legitimate political opinions routinely get punished.

    Regards,
    Dann

  16. @Dann —

    Given that we live in a world where the slightest deviation from the “correct” political narrative can result in significant negative reactions, why shouldn’t he be suspicious?

    1. Because other panelists got the very same message;
    2. Because Baycon quite clearly invited him back for 2018.

    Seriously, Dann, this isn’t rocket science. JDA was NOT singled out; he was NOT banned. This is Reading Comprehension 101.

  17. ” So let’s be charitable all around. “

    Why? del Arroz has been caught lying enough times to not be the best recipient of charitable interpretations.

  18. @Contrarius

    I have no firm evidence, but from talking to various pup-types, I get the vague impression that they think reading 10-12 books a year is an impressive feat.

    I think that the critique in the comments of this story about JdA’s stupid statements has been spot on. I think this overly broad characterization of puppies as minimal readers is unproductive and comes across as elitist.

  19. You are correct. She wrote off roughly a fourth of the country. Not half the country.

    For someone who likes to make narrow distinctions about things other people say, Dann, you appear to like making broad claims yourself.

    Half of Trump’s voters doesn’t approach a quarter of the country.

    Trump’s vote total amounts to less than 20% of the population. Half of that would be less than 10%.

    Here’s what she said:

    You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic — Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.

    But the “other” basket — the other basket — and I know because I look at this crowd I see friends from all over America here: I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas and — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that “other” basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures; and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but — he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

    If what she was saying was that 10% of the US is racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic, I think she’s been proven right. Probably lowballed it, even.

    Was it a smart thing to say? Probably not. But that wasn’t your point. Your point was to try to excuse JDA because you imagine that liberals would act just like him, and to postulate that “half the country” somehow equated to half of Trump supporters.

    On the one hand, your claim was wrong. On the other, I’m sure there would have been liberals who’d have acted like JDA, and I expect that they’d have found that it annoyed people too. Not necessarily for the fact of their opinions, but for the way they expressed them.

    Would it damage their sales? It might. I get enough angry conservatives telling me they won’t buy my work because of opinions I express on my own Twitter feed, rather than on theirs. If I chased conservatives around yapping at them, I expect that number (however illusory it is) would be higher.

    All of this is kind of pointless, it just annoys me a little that you want to bend over backward to leave the door open a hair that if a Democrat believed a family story about Indian heritage, then it’s appropriate to treat her like a monster, because maybe maybe maybe — but at the same time, you have no interest in being accurate about the sweeping claims you make yourself, just partisan.

    If you’re going to split hairs and insist on ungrounded possibilities on the one side, shouldn’t you be at least as exacting on your own?

  20. @Dann –

    A couple of points. I have been attending Baycon since about 1987, and have been a regular panelist since the mid-90s or so. I go the exact same message as JDA. I’m a screaming, red-flag, waving, card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America. If I were asked to take a knee for a year, I would accept that Baycon wanted to bring in some fresh blood to change things up.

    Jon Del Arroz is a lair and serial harasser. He is also a professional victim. I can say this because I know the man from local conventions. He has attacked veterans, the disabled, and anyone who doesn’t do exactly what he wants. To be clear, the year he claimed he was being “banned” from Baycon for racist reasons, both the Chair and Head of Programming were also Hispanic.

    There’s no conspiracy, no left-wing cabal working to destroy an author that almost nobody in the Bay Area is aware of (I and my wife are responsible for the “Prominent Local Author” ribbons given out at Baycon, only a tiny fraction of people who got the ribbon had ever heard of JDA.) Jon has deliberately and callously attacked everyone who he feels has wronged him and has organized harassment campaigns against people for not recognizing his really Stable Genius.

    We are just tired of his games.

  21. Current book Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes. Not SF/F, but an incredible journey through the history of the Queen of Cities, from the Neolithic fishers of the Bosphorus to the modern day.

    My favorite bit so far: Chalcedon, a Greek city built on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in what is now the Kadiköy district of Istanbul. The city was deemed the “City of the Blind” for building there within sight of the hilly peninsula flush with springs and the safe harbor sites of the Golden Horn.

  22. You are correct. She wrote off roughly a fourth of the country. Not half the country.

    Given the turnout rates in this country, probably closer to an eighth. And she did say she regretted saying “half,” and that she was just trying to distinguish between two groups of Trump supporters. But exact numbers aside, there are people who voted for Trump despite his bigotry and misogyny, and there are people who voted for him because of them. Who like that he “says what we’re thinking” and “tells it like it is.” And the real problem here is that Clinton pegged the latter group as “deplorable”?

    (ETA: Ninja’d by Kurt, oh well.)

  23. RE other people’s reading recs here:

    Dorothy Dunnet’s King Herafter is on my reading list.

    And I’m putting Bettany Hughes’ Istanbul on that list–I love her books! Also her documentaries. Hadn’t heard about this book.

    I’ve been reading nonfiction political books. Just took a look at my reading log and realized that’s almost all I have been reading for months now. No wonder I’m depressed. I need to cheer myself up with some good fiction and interesting history.

  24. And speaking of King Hereafter: Decided it was time to rewatch the Scottish play (the BBC 1983 version with Nicol Williamson and Jane Lapotaire).

    And that Istanbul book probably needs to be added to my list as well.

  25. @ Kurt Busiek
    Thanks, you said it better than I could have. I am bored to death with people circulating that tired old lie, especially when so many are so anxious to prove that they are not in any way deplorable.

    @Dann
    “Given that we live in a world where the slightest deviation from the “correct” political narrative can result in significant negative reactions,”
    I wish it were true that the slightest deviation from truth and courtesy would have real consequences. Not sure what you mean by “significant negative reactions”. Disagreement? Verbal disapproval? Doxxing and swatting are significant, of course, but all the recent examples I know of, including the louts harassing Camestros and others, are not in any sense correct, politically or otherwise.
    As to a Clinton victory, I would have been quite ebullient, but ebullient does not mean rude.

    @ Joe H
    Macbeth on the Estate is on YouTube in 9 parts. It has aged really well, and of course you can watch it for free. My all-time favorite MacDuff, except for Bob Peck. The production with Patrick Stewart is available on DVD, as is Michael Fassbender’s riff on the role.

    Informed by another Filer that CJ Cherryh’s latest Foreigner book was out, I snagged the last copy in the local SF bookshop and did the usual: read it fast, read it again more slowly and revisited all my favorite bits of its recent predecessors. Emergence is particularly interesting because the protagonists do so little of the derring-do, which mostly takes place offstage. The plot can sort of be summarized as “they also serve who sit around, talk to security, drink tea and worry”. Remarkably nerve wracking.

  26. I’d never heard of Bettany Hughes so I will look for her work. King Herafter is on Mount TBR based on earlier recommendations by Filers.

    I’ve been doing only comfort reading lately, based on File 770 thread from 2016, I think. I should have bookmarked it because my Google Fu is weak.

  27. World Weary: File 770 thread from 2016, I think. I should have bookmarked it

    Click on the 2017 link at the top of the blog. It’s a page with all of the permalinks.

  28. The Bettany Hughes book sounds interesting. (although for history, this is supposed to be the year I was going to learn more about the Mongols….)

  29. @Dann:

    For the record, I suspect that if Mrs. Clinton had won, that Filers’ responses would have run the gamut between reasonable pleasure at the victory all the way through “in your face”.

    Your suspicion is incorrect. I would have been relieved that the country had not elected one of the most despicable pieces of sociopathic trash ever to run on a major-party ticket; I would not have taken pleasure in Clinton’s victory, because I do not think she would have dragged the US’s Overton window significantly out of the slough that it has fallen into.

    Given that we live in a world where the slightest deviation from the “correct” political narrative can result in significant negative reactions, why shouldn’t he be suspicious?

    Define “reactions”; there’s a lot of difference between grimacing, or maybe telling someone they’re out of line, and acting dishonorably. Then define “significant” (wrt the foregoing); again, look at just how vile a ~rightwing position someone has to take before their person or their employment is at hazard. Then consider just who has been debasing dialog for the past few decades — the side that says “You’re being hurtful” or the side that rants and raves and pounds the table (because neither the law nor the facts are on their side)? (I expect you’ll try to reverse the sides that I intend — but before you do, ask who populates everything from high-salaried call-in shows to anything-goes internet channels.)

  30. Thanks, @rcade, for giving us clarification that we can point to when people start to believe Mr. Del Arroz’s lie.

  31. I’ve been so un-energetic I am having trouble reading fiction. I’m currently reading mountaineering blogs and books from my comfy armchair. I can recommend Mark Horrell’s blog and trip diaries for good writing and what sounds to me like good sense. (I am pretty unathletic so I have no actual experience in this area.)

  32. One of the stranger impacts of mostly moving to a Kindle for reading is I seldom read in the house any more. Not sure why.

    I suspect it is partly because mine is not back lit and somewhat lower contrast because of that. My astigmatism doesn’t like low contrast. I do use the Kindle app on my tablet sometimes but not as much as I used to read dead trees.

    The other factor is probably spending too much time reading sci fi blogs… and the other distractions afforded by the intertubes.

  33. JdA claimed to have an interaction with one member of the con staff. So let’s be charitable all around.

    Del Arroz lied about Rambo. He lied about OGH. It isn’t charitable to take at face value the claims he makes that damage the reputation of other people and organizations. It’s gullible.

  34. Short story concept:

    It is fifty years in the future, and the world has been split into two opposing tribes: the “Really really right wing USians” and the “somewhat more moderate (occasionally even leftist) USians”. The tribes never interact with each other, members segregating themselves behind belief-confirming algorithms while human society grinds to a halt around them.

    In this divided dystopia, a chance meeting between emotionally compatible members of opposing tribes leads to the start of an impossible dialogue. But as their conversation moves forward, will their inexplicable affection allow them to overcome that greatest of debate challenges: re-litigation of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign???

    (Sorry)

  35. @Dann–

    I’m a Democrat.

    I live in Massachusetts.

    This means that, for my entire adult life, nationally important elected and appointed political figures have been calling me a communist, and my state such cutsie names as “The People’s Republic of Massachusetts.” On of them was a guy who ran for Governor here as a moderate Republican, was elected, and then spent two of his four years in office making the state he was still governor of, the butt of every nasty joke he could come up with for the entertainment of people who get their panties in a twist if we dare to suggest that maybe Nazis and KKK aren’t “fine people.”

    JDA is a fucking liar and serial harasser. There is zero reason to entertain his fantasy of how he casme to be on a “not this year, but we want you back next year,” list with, what, dozens? of other people who don’t fall into his political demographic.

    But you stand firmly upon your right to be mortally offended by a blatantly dishonest distortion of a nuanced if imperfect statement by Hillary Clinton, which attempted to distinguish between the racists & Nazis among Trump’s supporters, and the many who were just frustrated and afraid because it’s getting harder and harder to survive.

    I’ve had it up the wazoo with the fake sensitivities of people who rush to call me a communist, or a slut, or fat, when I don’t agree with their repetitions of the Uranium One lies, or the Benghazi lies, i.e the wild fantasies about the Clinton Foundation, one of the highest rated nonprofits around.

    If I won’t agree that Hillary Clinton is a criminal, possibly on the scale of Hitler, then apparently I don’t deserve to be regarded even as a human being.

    And JDA is one of that crowd, proudly so, and no, there is no reason for me to waste any energy considering the unlikely possibility that he might not be lying this time.

    So. I just read Creatures of Light, by Emily B. Martin. I’d never read anything by it before, and this is the third book of a trilogy andd I went into it having no idea what was going on, which was rather awkward, and…

    I loved it. It’s wonderful. Couldn’t put it down. Great characters, and while it would be hard to call this anything other than a fantasy, and it has significant characters, both the good guys and the bad guys, who do real scientific research. Biology. Astronomy. Geology. Chemistry. Our protagonist is very, very fact-based. <3

    So, what have you read recently that you may not have talked about yet?

  36. Er and to clarify, because I was a bit short upscroll, I don’t actually think it’s appropriate to judge people based solely on the number of books they read – be that 5 or 500 per year. People have different lives, commitments, hobbies, reading speeds, format preferences (audio or paper), budgets, proximities to a decent library, moods, astrological forecasts… and that’s all good. (I am also reliably informed that books are different lengths.)

    My reason for being dismissive of puppy reading habits is because their group strategy involves 1) claiming to represent all “real” SFF readers and be the sole arbiters of “real” SFF books, and 2) announcing proud ignorance of 95% of recent genre releases so they can dismiss authors who call them out as nobodies, and their books as stupid. I think in that case, calling out with “bro do u even read” is a relevant response.

  37. @Paul if you are looking for Mongols, Dan Carlin has an excellent podcast series about them. It’s fascinating. I liked it almost as much as Blueprint for Armageddon, his WWI series.

  38. @max Yup, listened to that last year, it was one of the inspirations for me to try and learn more this year 🙂

    That, and also reading THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER.

  39. I finally got around to the Southern Reach trilogy, which was interesting because they are not books I would ever have written.

    (That sounds weird, I realize, but I assume, like many authors, there’s plenty of books you read where you could have written something in that vein, so you spend a lot of time calling story beats in your head or thinking “Hmm, I’d have done this here…”)

    Southern Reach took what was basically an “explore the creepy world” story (I’ve dabbled in those) and went wildly in a direction I would not have. I am still not quite sure if I liked them, but I found them admirable.

  40. Thanks to whomever it was that recommended J.A. Sutherland’s “Alexis Carew” books; I just finished #1 (I think someone called it out in a Meredith Moment a while ago and I happened to be buying a bunch of books that day) and I very much enjoyed it.

    Not deep reading; it’s more-or-less Horatio Hornblower In Space. But just exactly what I needed right now.

  41. After all the lovely suggestions in that last thread, I have ended up reading a non-fiction book … The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone about Elizebeth Smith Friedman, one of the founders of modern cryptanalysis. I have some quibbles (the book could really use better organization, the authors sense of time is weird sometimes and his wording gets repetitive) but overall a facinating read.

  42. JDA’s disgusting treatment of Brozek reminds me of Torgersen’s shameless treatment of Annie Bellet. It’s not quite gaslighting, but it’s similar. I find it interesting that JDA seems unable to come up with original ideas for trolling and abusing people. He’s truly a second-rate puppy.

  43. @Lis Carey – well put.

    I was a Clinton supporter insofar as she was qualified. I don’t like her and was disappointed that she was the best the country could put forward. I would most certainly not have gloated about her victory. Calling half of Trump’s supporters (less than 15% of the country) “deplorables” was accurate but too easily twisted against her.

    @Red Wombat – Every time I read a reaction to the Southern Reach trilogy I am simultaneously intrigued and convinced to read something I’m more certain will be satisfying.

  44. Does writing happy birthday to David Gerrold in a comment count as being wished a happy birthday by File770?

    I just finished Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. It was a deceptively simple book that I liked it a great deal. Now I’m reading The Book of Dust, which I like well enough but might like more if I could remember anything more than Lyra’s name from the His Dark Materials books.

  45. @Cheryl I was hoping it would suffice. I enjoy his rants very much and hate to see him sad. Also, my memory is far from perfect but I don’t recall a whole lot of callbacks in The Book of Dust, it seemed to stand on its own.

  46. Douglas Berry on January 26, 2018 at 11:23 am said:

    What strikes me about JDA is how pathetically eager he is for positive affirmations. He begs people to say that he’s a good person and a great friend. Any negative feedback, no matter how justified or mild, is an attack on him deserving of massive retaliation.

    Which explains why he identifies so well with Trump.

  47. Arifel on January 26, 2018 at 4:14 am said:

    In reading news, Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire removed the socks from my feet and placed them in an orbit somewhere around Saturn.

    Literally just finished it yesterday, and yes, it’s a lot of fun. Good series. Not as relentlessly dark as the October Daye books, but not as silly as the InCryptid series. It’s a good balance. And it takes balls (ovaries?) to write a book about candyland for grownups. 🙂

    I also recently finished Into the Drowning Deep, by Seanan’s alter ego, Mira Grant. And I think her personalities are leaking into each other. How else can you explain Grant writing a book about mermaids? Yes, they’re killer mermaids, but still… 😀

    Oh, yes, it’s also recommended, at least for people with a taste for horror. In fact, it’s a bit more like a traditional horror novel than Grant’s usual work. Except, y’know, mermaids.

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