Pixel Scroll 1/30/18 The Man Who Mooned The Scroll

(1) ANTIQUARIANS ARISE. Posters for three upcoming book fairs across the U.S.

(2) A WRITER’S LIFE. Kameron Hurley opens her books in “Writing Income: What I Made in 2017”.

A couple of observations:

Patreon Saves the Day (But Don’t Count On It)

Patreon has been a godsend this last year, as I’ve been producing a short story every month, instead of every other month or so as I did last year. That said, the shitstorm at Patreon at the end of last year when they were going to up their fees by 40% for folks at the $1 tiers saw me bleeding fans from the platform. That experience reminded me again that this income – though provided by a large pool of 750+ fans, is still reliant on a third party system that could implode and fuck everything at any time….

(3) SHARKE CALLING. Now online, a self-introduction by a 2018 Shadow Clarke juror — “Introducing Alasdair Stuart”.

What I hope for is this: that my time on the Shadow Clarkes will allow me to get better at walking that line between undiscerning joy and the relentless caution of analysis. That I’ll be able to communicate the joy of a trick well executed, and the astonishment of a trick never before seen. To explore the idea that there is joy in skill as well as show, and that when that joy is absent we can learn at least as much as when it’s present.

Stuart’s name will be familiar to Filers for his podcasting empire, described in an interview he gave to Carl Slaughter.

(4) TENNANT TENTHS AGAIN. Comicbook reports “‘Doctor Who’: The Tenth Doctor and Jenny Return in New Video”:

David Tennant’s time on Doctor Who may have ended over eight years ago, but his Tenth Doctor will always live on in the hearts of fans and, it seems, in clever video messages for friends.

Tennant recreated his role as the Tenth Doctor alongside his wife, Georgia Tennant, who appeared as The Doctor’s daughter in the appropriately titled episode “The Doctor’s Daughter,” for a short video to wish his friend, Doctor Who script editor Gary Russell, farewell upon Russell’s move to Australia back in 2013. You can check out the video embedded below

(5) DOCTOR PHONE HOME. Also in the news, David Tennant accepted a settlement in his suit against the now defunct News of the World over a phone hacking claim.

News Group Newspapers (NGN) settled Mr Tennant’s High Court claim and issued an apology.

Tennant’s lawyer said he was “outraged and shocked” by the invasion of privacy.

NGN made no admission of liability to claims relating to The Sun.

Tennant was among six people to settle claims with NGN on Tuesday.

The other claimants were Olympic medallist Colin Jackson, actress Sophia Myles, party planner Fran Cutler, fashion designer Jess Morris and footballer David James’s ex-wife, Tanya Frayne.

Tennant first launched his lawsuit in March 2017, after the parent company of the News of the World closed its compensation scheme in 2013.

(6) ARMIES TO COME. Marina Berlin, in “Five Ways To Build A More Believable Futuristic Military” at The Book Smugglers, subverts the axiom that sf is never about the future by asking what MilSF would look like if it was about the future like it pretends to be.

The military of Battlestar Galactica is supposedly egalitarian, with all types of soldiers filling all types of roles, and without divisions in bathing and sleeping areas. And yet, the women who have children on the show are never shown to have a systemic, military framework to fall back on when it comes to parental leave or childcare. It’s not that Sharon or Cally would be able to rely on the same system the military had in place before everything exploded, of course, but some traces of that system, some expectations, some details, had to have remained. Just like there are echoes of every other part of a particular military system on the show, even if parts of it have disappeared. Instead, for both women, it seems like they are the first soldiers in history to give birth, and the solutions they have to find for childcare, for being soldiers and mothers simultaneously, are personal and anecdotal.

Examples of stories that show a military like this, where everyone serves together and sleeps together and bathes together and yet pregnancy is not addressed one way or the other are endless in military science fiction. From old classics like Ender’s Game (where the kids in Battle School with Ender were in their mid to late teens by the end of the first book) to newly released books, like Yoon Ha Lee’s excellent Ninefox Gambit.

(7) SFWA STATS. Cat Rambo delivers the digits:

(8) CREDENTIALS AND OTHERS. SyFy Wire’s Ana Marie Cox, in “Space the Nation: The most important pets of fantasy and sci-fi”, does a roundup of famous genre pets.

Salem, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Technically, Salem is not a cat, but a 500-year-old witch sentenced to live as a cat as punishment for attempting to take over the world. Cat people might argue that becoming a house cat only furthered Salem’s ambitions rather than stymieing it.

(9) WINDING UP 2016. Rocket Stack Rank concludes a multi-part series on the best short SFF of 2016 with a look at their different sources of recommendations: “guides” like reviewers, “best-of” anthologists, and awards finalists — “2016 Best SF/F Short Fiction Guides”.

Greg Hullender notes:

The biggest takeaway (which we saw in earlier installments) is that although some judgment is subjective, there does seem to be a strong underlying idea of excellence that runs across almost all the guides and which is consistent with the idea that the awards are, in general, recognizing stories that are among the very best. Awards are better guides than best-of anthologies, but the anthologies are better guides than any reviewer, and the reviewers are much better guides than just picking stories at random.

(10) MORE LE GUIN MEMORIES. Michael Dirda tells readers of The Weekly Standard  “Why Ursula Le Guin Matters”.

…I suspect that Le Guin, who herself majored in French at Radcliffe, must early on have taken to heart Flaubert’s dictum: “Be regular and ordinary in your life like a bourgeois, in order to be violent and original in your work.” For there is no question about it: This humorous, outspoken woman, who once told a feminist conference that she actually enjoyed housework, was one of the essential writers of our time. As I sit at this keyboard, the whole world, especially the science-fiction world, is mourning her passing—and a certain committee in Sweden is, I hope, kicking itself for having neglected to award her the Nobel Prize for literature.



  • Born January 30, 1941 – Gregory Benford

(13) HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG! Gregory Benford’s birthday is celebrated by Steven H Silver at Black Gate in “Birthday Reviews: Gregory Benford’s ‘Down the River Road’”:

Gregory Benford was born on January 30, 1941. He helped start the first science fiction convention in Germany, WetzCon, in 1956 and the first convention in Texas, Southwestern Con, in 1958. He received the Nebula Award for Best Novelette in 1975 for his collaboration with Gordon Eklund, “If the Stars Are Gods.” His novel Timescape received the Nebula Award for Best Novel, the John W. Campbell Memorial, Jr. Award, the Ditmar Award, and the British SF Association Award. It also loaned its name to a publishing imprint. Benford received a Phoenix Award from the Southern Fandom Confederation in 2004 and a Forry Award from LASFS in 2016. Benford was the Guest of Honor at Aussiecon Three, the 1999 Worldcon in Melbourne, Australia.

“Down the River Road” was included in After the King: Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Martin H. Greenberg. Originally published in January 1992, the book and all the stories in it were translated into Dutch, Italian, and French. The story has not appeared outside of the original anthology.

(14) CHANGE AT NYT BOOK REVIEW. N.K. Jemisin will leave the column and be replaced by another well-known sf author — “Amal El-Mohtar Named Otherworldly Columnist for The New York Times Book Review”.

Amal El-Mohtar has been named science fiction and fantasy columnist for The New York Times Book Review.  She replaces N.K. Jemisin who served as the Otherworldly columnist for two years. Read more in this note from the Pamela Paul, Greg Cowles and David Kelly.

After two stellar (and interstellar) years as the Book Review’s science fiction and fantasy columnist, N.K. Jemisin is leaving to devote more time to her numerous outside projects, including her own books and a guest editorship for the Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy series. Since inaugurating the Otherworldly column in January 2016, Nora has gone on to win consecutive Hugo awards for best novel, and her book “The Fifth Season” (the start of her Broken Earth trilogy) is in development as a television series for TNT. We were delighted to have her.

… “I’m especially fascinated by books that don’t want to save the world so much as break or dislocate it further, in order to build something better in its wake,” she told us. “Fantasy and science fiction have long had at their heart the question of how to be good, and the 20th century’s shifting visions from monoliths of Good and Evil to the more complicated battle between individuals and systems has been a wild ride. I’m excited to see it develop further.”

[Hat tip to SF Site News, Locus Online, and Andrew Porter.]

(15) TERRA TALES. Charles Payseur is back with “Quick Sips – Terraform SF January 2018”:

The new year kicks off at Terraform with three excellent stories exploring futures that seems almost inevitable, that seems in many ways here already. The stories look at three very different things—immigration, employment, and nuclear destruction—but they all manage to tell emotionally resonating stories that share the feeling that most people are already accepting these futures as reality.

(16) RELATIONSHIPS SUCK. The Empties comic premieres on Valentine’s Day, 2018. Of course it does —

It’s a horror story centered around losing someone you love (or think you love). How scary is it to find out that person you love isn’t who you thought they were? (I’d say, pretty darn scary).

You can check out a preview of the book at emptiescomics.com. Kristen Renee Gorlitz says, “If you like what you see, sign up to check out the premiere of The Empties comic book on Kickstarter this Valentine’s day!”

When a loving chef comes home to an unfaithful wife, he cooks up a revenge plan so twisted… so disturbed… it will leave you in pieces.


(17) FEAR AND LOATHING. There are several genre authors among the “13 Writers Who Grew to Hate Their Own Books” discussed at Literary Hub: J.G. Ballard, Stephen King, Kingsley Amis, Stanislaw Lem, and —

Octavia Butler, Survivor (1978)

Survivor was Butler’s third novel, and also the third in her first series, now called the Patternist series. Though the rest of the series was reprinted (some multiple times), Butler refused to allow Survivor to be included, and (rumor has it) she didn’t even like to talk about it at signings or appearances. In an interview, she said:

When I was young, a lot of people wrote about going to another world and finding either little green men or little brown men, and they were always less in some way. They were a little sly, or a little like “the natives” in a very bad, old movie. And I thought, “No way. Apart from all these human beings populating the galaxy, this is really offensive garbage.” People ask me why I don’t like Survivor, my third novel. And it’s because it feels a little bit like that. Some humans go up to another world, and immediately begin mating with the aliens and having children with them. I think of it as my Star Trek novel.

The novel is still out of print—used copies sell for about $175.

(18) COMMON KNOWLEDGE. The UK’s Mastermind show ‘banned’ Harry Potter and Fawlty Towers because too many would-be contestants want these categories and the show will use a category only once a season.

Hundreds of Mastermind applicants are being asked to change their specialist topics because too many people are choosing the same subject.

Mastermind received 262 applications to answer questions about the Harry Potter series last year.

It is the most popular topic, alongside Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and Father Ted.

But only one contestant can tackle a subject during each series.

(19) THINKING OUTSIDE THE ARK. An “‘Unsolvable’ exam question leaves Chinese students flummoxed”:

Primary school students at a school in the Chinese district of Shunqing were faced with this question on a paper: “If a ship had 26 sheep and 10 goats onboard, how old is the ship’s captain?”

The question appeared on a recent fifth-grade level paper, intended for children around 11 years old.

The answer in the last paragraph obviously comes from a fan….

The traditional Chinese method of education heavily emphasises on note-taking and repetition, known as rote learning, which critics say hinders creative thinking.

But the department said questions like the boat one “enable students to challenge boundaries and think out of the box”.

And of course, there’s always that one person that has all the answers.

“The total weight of 26 sheep and 10 goat is 7,700kg, based on the average weight of each animal,” said one Weibo commenter.

“In China, if you’re driving a ship that has more than 5,000kg of cargo you need to have possessed a boat license for five years. The minimum age for getting a boat’s license is 23, so he’s at least 28.”

(20) ALTERNATE ART. BBC’s “The Star Wars posters of Soviet Europe” shows lots of examples with bright space-filling colors, wild designs, and flashy features that aren’t in the movies.

(21) DON’T FORGET. There’s a “Super Blue Moon eclipse on January 31”.

The Blue Moon – second of two full moons in one calendar month – will pass through the Earth’s shadow on January 31, 2018, to give us a total lunar eclipse. Totality, when the moon will be entirely inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will last a bit more than one-and-a-quarter hours. The January 31 full moon is also the third in a series of three straight full moon supermoons – that is, super-close full moons. It’s the first of two Blue Moons in 2018. So it’s not just a total lunar eclipse, or a Blue Moon, or a supermoon. It’s all three … a super Blue Moon total eclipse!…

IMPORTANT. If you live in North America or the Hawaiian Islands, this lunar eclipse will be visible in your sky before sunrise on January 31.

(22) INTERSTELLAR. The Dave Cullen Show on YouTube does a segment about a movie they can’t forget: “Revisiting Interstellar”

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Mark Hepworth, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Michael J. Walsh, Andrew Porter, Kristen Renee Gorlitz, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

108 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/30/18 The Man Who Mooned The Scroll

  1. Hampus Eckerman on January 31, 2018 at 7:04 am said:

    It scans better as “nine billion pixels of scrolls on the screen”

    I find it highly unlikely that I’m the only one whose popcorn mind quickly popped up:
    Take one down and pass it around…

  2. “Aleph-one pixel-scrolls on the site, aleph-one pixel-scrolls.
    File one down, read it around.
    Aleph-one pixel-scolls on the site.”

  3. Johan P on January 31, 2018 at 7:53 am said:

    There are nine-million pixel scrolls in Beijing.
    That’s a fact,
    It’s a thing we can’t deny,
    Like the fact that I will read books ’til I die.

    Well, there’s thirteen hundred and fifty two pixel scrollers in Nashville,
    And they can scroll more files than the number of ants on a Tennessee ant hill….

  4. Paul Weimer: I tried to comment before, but couldn’t. I blame all the chinese bots that Dave Freer accuses Mike of using.

    Looks like I’ll have to hire some more so I won’t need to read about it on my own site.

  5. My line? I was just echoing Daniel there, with maybe one letter’s difference.

    You ain’t pinning this on ME.

    Moral: The one who scrolls last, files best.

  6. @3: What I hope for is this: that my time on the Shadow Clarkes will allow me to get better at walking that line between undiscerning joy and the relentless caution of analysis. From his mouth to the jury’s ears….

    @17: interesting outside genre: Fleming’s statement that he considered Bond an efficient professional rather than a hero. Puts even more question on one of my school’s using Bond as a ~prom theme — although I suppose they were thinking entirely of the movies, since many of their parents weren’t born when Fleming died. Note that the story also links to Vonnegut’s ratings of a number of his works, from a later book; given the clear break between high ratings for early works and low ratings for then-recent works, I wonder whether he changed his ratings when he was further from the middle works (which I haven’t read — somehow I never got back to Vonnegut after high school).

    I’m not going to call out a particular response to @11; I’ll just sit here trying not to choke on my popcorn.

    @Rob Thornton: is DC really that bad for a non-native, or is any city an issue? The Metro is adequate but not cheap, and the last time I drove downtown (spy museum, 2013, because I didn’t want to park-and-wait) I found street signage to be better than in other cities. Of course, an unskilled chauffeur can make any city terrifying….

    @Ingvar: why inflate? It works just as well with aleph-null.

  7. Well, here in 1490, there is a prophecy about Kip W and the nine billions scrolls of pixels that shall be unleashed, so you better fetch up to your role as the chosen one. There is no avoiding it.

  8. @Chip– You and I live in The Land of Traffic Circles/Rotaries. DC has them, and has lots of visitors who have never encountered them. Bad combination.

  9. Not sure if this is actually Meredithable or not, but both The Dispossessed and The Lathe of Heaven are currently in the $4-$5 range on Kindle.

    (Which reminds me that I really, really need to read The Dispossessed and The Lathe of Heaven one of these days. And Left Hand of Darkness, while I’m at it.)

  10. @Chip Hitchcock

    Is DC really that bad for a non-native, or is any city an issue? The Metro is adequate but not cheap, and the last time I drove downtown (spy museum, 2013, because I didn’t want to park-and-wait) I found street signage to be better than in other cities. Of course, an unskilled chauffeur can make any city terrifying….

    For me, the main reason to not drive in DC is parking. Public parking is scarce (and very expensive), while street parking is even more scarce. Also, the street layout is very confusing and traffic piles up easily. From the beginning of my life as a driver in the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia), I have always parked in a suburban Metro lot and taken the subway in. Metro parking is free on the weekends and on weekdays the price per day is usually very good. For example, Greenbelt Metro is my home base these days and last time I parked there it cost $5/day for all-day parking.

  11. The Scroll of Doctor Pixel
    The Pixel of Doctor Scroll
    The Doctor of Scroll Pixel
    and of course “The Scroll of Doctor Pixel and other Stories and other Stories”

  12. @Johan P.

    There are nine-million pixel scrolls in Beijing.

    Of course, there are. After all, we’re all Chinese webbots, remember.

  13. Red Wombat: Don’t worry about the car, because of course you are destined to die at sea, where your bones will sink to the bottom and be harvested by worms.

  14. Doctor Science on January 31, 2018 at 12:56 pm said:

    WARNING: Angry bees adhere instantly to human skin. 1/5 stars.

    “Sure, understanding today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But, there they are.”

    eta: I Think We’re All Pixels on This Scroll.

  15. #reviewforscience is great. (I’d been avoiding twitter for a few days to reduce stress, but this was just fine.)

  16. @Andrew: Bravo on the Wolfe pixel scrolls.

    My only bit of Norse etymology is that placenames in Ireland that have an X in them are generally from the Vikings, like Leixlip (salmon leap), Wexford (way fjord) and Sixmilebridge (pretty obvious, this one).

  17. One Thousand scrolls all nice and warm
    Crack crack crack! A little pixel is born
    File file file file! File file file file!

    Nine hundred ninety nine scrolls all nice and warm
    Crack crack crack! A little pixel is born
    File file file file! File file file file!

    Nine hundred ninety eight scrolls all nice and warm
    Crack crack crack! A little pixel is born
    File file file file! File file file file!

  18. The scroll goes ever on and on, far from the file where it began
    Now far ahead the pixel’s gone, and I must follow if I can


    Old tricks performed by new magicians are everywhere, and a lot of the time there’s massive worth to them. Case in point: The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt, Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and the recent Black Mirror episode USS Callister by Charlie Brooker all play with the ‘scrappy group of likeable rogues in a rubbish spaceship’ trope that’s been around for decades, each in entirely different ways.

    This example of what he’d like to talk about made me rather happy – three things I’ve read/seen that would make an interesting discussion when put together.

  20. Ten little pixel scrolls, waiting in a line
    One misaligned itself and then there were nine.

    Nine little pixel scrolls, sliding in the plate
    One slid a mile too far, and then there were eight.

    Eight little pixel scrolls, chanting “Mars is Heaven!”
    One said “Jehovah,” and then there were seven.

    Seven little pixel scrolls, queuing Net Flix
    One cued the angry bear, and then there were six.

    Six little pixel scrolls, filking at a dive,
    One rhymed with orange, and then there were five.

    Five little pixel scrolls, argued on the floor,
    One used a fallacy, and well, there were still five.

    Five little pixel scrolls, rememb’ring days of yore,
    One had to wash the pans, and then there were four.

    Four little pixel scrolls analyzed TV
    One fell into the tropes and then there were three.

    Three little pixel scrolls, walking to the zoo
    One bit the lion’s tail, and then there were two.

    Two little pixel scrolls, staring at the sun
    One had a filtered lens, so then there was one.

    One little pixel scroll, feeling quite alone,
    Went to see a movie it had looked up on its phone.
    Came back, wrote a review, got some comments,
    So that was cool.

  21. @Niall McAuley: Glad you liked it. But Kip’s poem is just awesome. Deserves to be the framework for an Agatha Christie pastiche “And then there Scrolled none.”

  22. @Lis: as someone born in DC, I protest; its stately circles have no resemblance to the frantic messes of Boston. For one thing, they’re a lot larger, so the exits are much further apart; some even have underpasses so through traffic on the heaviest route never enters the circle at all. The only trouble my Texas and Nashville relatives had around circles when coming to my mother’s memorial was that I told them the “Naval Communications Annex” was near Tenley Circle instead Ward Circle.

    @Rob Thornton: since DC’s grid was discussed just a few Scrolls back, I’m a bit surprised it seems illogical; the slant avenues mostly aren’t necessary, although I acknowledge they’re the quickest ways across the grid interruptions caused by geology (e.g., Rock Creek ravine). Parking used to be easier, but DC has gotten a rather more built-up since I last street-parked. It also sounds like Metro parking either varies by the local economy or is discounted for regulars; if parking at Shady Grove had been only $5 I certainly wouldn’t have relied on an unreliable hotel shuttle when doing tourism around Capclave 4 years ago. I will consider myself warned if I try to tour downtown next April, when I’ll be down for a suburban school reunion.

  23. @Chip Hitchcock

    @Rob Thornton: since DC’s grid was discussed just a few Scrolls back, I’m a bit surprised it seems illogical; the slant avenues mostly aren’t necessary, although I acknowledge they’re the quickest ways across the grid interruptions caused by geology (e.g., Rock Creek ravine.

    I grew up in Montgomery County. What do I know? 🙂

    Just finished Swanwick’s Chasing The Phoenix and enjoyed it much! If I had only happened upon it earlier….

  24. I’d rather not drive in DC, but have done so several times, without any real difficulties. Boston, however, is a different story. I’m not doing that ever again…

  25. ULTRAGOTHA, Joe H, Kip W, bravi! ULTRAGOTHA, you made me giggle.

    crack, crack, crack….

  26. Andrew on January 31, 2018 at 7:14 pm said:
    I’d rather not drive in DC, but have done so several times, without any real difficulties. Boston, however, is a different story. I’m not doing that ever again…

    I certainly don’t recommend that anyone drive in Boston. Really. Walk. Take the T. Use Lyft or Uber. If absolutely necessary, use a cab. Even here in 6260 A.D., we recommend that visitors not attempt to drive in Boston.

  27. So are they still building the great rune of summoning out of the streets of Boston, or are they just waiting for enough blood to be spilled to activate it now? Been a while since I was there. 🙂

  28. Xtifr: So are they still building the great rune of summoning out of the streets of Boston, or are they just waiting for enough blood to be spilled to activate it now?

    I thought if we walked the streets of Boston, we could then order the Pattern to send us anywhere we wanted.

  29. @ Joe H.

    My personal minimum is either 20% off normal/previous price. Sometimes I flex that a little in either direction based on how interesting the book sounds/whether I have read it and liked it/whether I’ve heard good things/whether it is a classic/whether it is Hugo-eligible for the upcoming year.

    For books that I don’t personally think sound super exciting and don’t meet any of the other criteria I’m often more stringent, more like 40%+ discount. Or I’ll start leaving them off entirely if it’s a good sales day and there are a lot of other books that are higher priority, since otherwise the posts can get reeeeally long (and editing the summaries down to 2-3 sentences can take awhile, depending on how the original summary was written, so sometimes I shorten the list because I don’t have the spoons).

    But that’s my criteria for my own sales posts that I made up because I like having guidelines to work with. It would be silly of me to try to impose it on anyone else. It isn’t like I was the first person to post a comment pointing to a sale, so I figure everyone gets to come up with their own “rules”.

  30. @Chip Hitchcock: @Lis: as someone born in DC, I protest; its stately circles have no resemblance to the frantic messes of Boston.

    As someone born in Boston, I also protest.

  31. Five scrolled pixels, hanging on the wall
    Five scrolled pixels, hanging on the wall
    And if one scrolled pixel should accidentally fall,
    There’d be second five pixels, hanging on the wall…

    (I’m still singing this in the year 3402)

  32. @Meredith:

    I picked up a big box of plastic spoons last time I was at the store.

    It didn’t help.

  33. Attempting to drive in Boston was really awful, almost Brussels level dreadful. Never visited DC, let alone tried to drive there.

  34. I suppose my driving experience in Boston has shielded me from the worst of its features. In the past half dozen years, it’s been limited to heading out of / into the airport in a rental car with the other end of the trip being Waterville Maine. (Maine is an awkward enough place to fly to that it can be both less expensive and faster to fly into Boston and drive the rest of the way.) My only previous experience was a cross-country drive from California to a Boston Worldcon. Arriving in the wee hours of the morning after a 3000 mile drive did much to make the in-city navigation only a minor annoyance, in context.

  35. The one time I visited Boston, I had relatives living there who could pick me up and drive me, and also who could tell me which stops to use on their transit system. I would try to avoid driving there, based on that experience.
    (Maybe in 9616, it’s improved.)

  36. @Heather I apparently do the same trip, except I catch a bus at Logan and head up to Maine and some family who live across the river from Waterville pick me up. I’m not entirely convinced that there are airports in Maine.

    Next time I fly out for the holidays I’ll wave if I see (glances) a person who looks like a rose on top of a book.

    And yes, to everyone else, nobody should try to drive in Boston. That way lies madness.

  37. Back in the 80s, I sprang for a copy of Wild In The Streets: The Unofficial Boston Driver’s Handbook (wording may vary), a very useful volume that explains how to be a Boston driver.

    There’s history! Boston’s streets were laid out by cattle.

    There are vital tips! Don’t drive a car without scratches and dents: You’ll be at a hopeless disadvantage. Learn how to act just a little bit crazy so people will give you vital inches of space.

    There are instructional passages! How to make a left turn from any lane. How to declare wherever you are to be a parking space.

    I revisit this book every few years. The Suck Fairy is scared to come near it.

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