Pixel Scroll 10/13/21 Filed Gruntbuggly, Thy Pixelations Are To Me

(1) KGB RESUMES IN-PERSON READINGS. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel are very excited to return to in-person readings at the KGB Bar in Manhattan’s East Village. On Wednesday, October 20 at 7:00 Eastern, people will hear from this month’s guests Daryl Gregory and Michael J. DeLuca. (Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to enter the KGB Bar; face masks are required when not seated.)

  • Daryl Gregory

Daryl Gregory’s work has been translated into a dozen languages and has won multiple awards, including the World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson awards. His latest books are the Appalachian horror novel Revelator, the novella The Album of Dr. Moreau, and the novel Spoonbenders. He’s lived in multiple towns along the 2,000 miles of I-80, and currently resides in Pennsylvania.

  • Michael J. DeLuca

Michael J. DeLuca has published 30+ short stories in markets including Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Mythic Delirium, and Interfictions. His debut novella, Night Roll, was a finalist for the Crawford award in 2020. He’s also the publisher of Reckoning, a journal of creative writing on environmental justice. He lives in the rapidly suburbifying post-industrial woodlands north of Detroit with partner, kids, cats and microbes.

Datlow and Kressel still plan to publish a video recording of the event on YouTube, but the readings will no longer be presented live online. They also will still be providing the audio podcasts as usual. If you’d like to support the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series, please click here.

(2) SHAKE’N UP. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] Here is a touching tribute by Sir Patrick Stewart to Cecil Dormand, the teacher who encouraged him to start acting: “A moment that changed me: Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent – and saved him”. Includes a photo of a young Patrick Stewart with hair.

… Had I sat that test, I might never have met Cecil Dormand, a teacher at the secondary modern where I ended up, who would change my life when I was 12, by putting Shakespeare into my hands for the very first time. It was The Merchant of Venice. He gave copies to most of us and told us to look up Act 4 Scene 1 (or the famous trial scene, as I was to learn). He cast all the speaking roles and told us to start reading. We all did, but silently. “No, no, you idiots, not to yourselves!” he yelled. “Out loud! This is a play, not a poem. It’s life. It’s real.”

The first words – “I have possessed your grace of what I purpose” – was the first line of Shakespeare I ever read. I barely understood a word, but I loved the feel of the words and sounds in my mouth….

(3) MUIR, MARILLIER LIBRARY ZOOMS. The Nelson Public Libraries in New Zealand are hosting two author talks on Zoom that will be open for anyone to attend from home. (Hat tip to SFFANZ News.)

  • Tuesday, October 19 from 7 pm (local time) — Tamsyn Muir, author of the Locked Tomb series. Info here.
  • Thursday, October 21 from 5 pm (local time) — Juliet Marillier, author of Sevenwaters series, Blackthorn and Grim, and Warrior Bards. Info here.

(4) A LITTLE LIST. Screen Rant clues calls these the “10 Best Fantasy And Sci-Fi Books With Upcoming TV And Movie Adaptations”.

Whether audiences prefer to read the source material ahead of time or go into these shows and movies without expectations, there’s plenty to be excited for in these varied stories. From classics of the genres to more contemporary offerings, there are a slew of popular fantasy and sci-fi books headed for fans’ screens.

(5) CHECKING UNDER THE HOODS. [Item by Cora Buhlert.] Dutch Irish writing couple Remco van Straten and Angeline B. Adams remember the nigh-forgotten 1991 Robin Hood film starring Patrick Bergin, which was overshadowed by the other Robin Hood film starring Kevin Costner that came out in 1991. IMO, the Bergin film is much better. Remco and Angeline obviously agree: “Mists and Mummers: Robin Hood”.

It doesn’t have doesn’t have Bryan Adams rasping “Everything I do” and it doesn’t have Kevin Costner, or Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio with big hair. Nor does it have Alan Rickman sneering away as the Sheriff of Nothingham. It doesn’t have a the Sheriff of N. at all, actually (nor any other plot points and characters directly lifted from TV’s Robin of Sherwood).  This Robin Hood film  did also come out in 1991, and as a result withered in the shadow of the mega-hit Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves…. 

(6) HWA. The “Latinx Heritage in Horror” series at the Horror Writers Association blog features this “Interview with Isabel Cañas”.

Isabel Cañas is a Mexican-American speculative fiction writer. After having lived in Mexico, Scotland, Egypt, and Turkey, among other places, she has settled (for now) in New York City, where she works on her PhD dissertation in medieval Islamic literature and writes fiction inspired by her research and her heritage. …

What was it about the horror genre that drew you to it?

I have loved Gothic novels for a long time. Two of the most influential books I read in my teen years were Dracula, which I read at 17, and Beloved, which I read when I was 19. Dark fantasy also holds a special place in my heart—I read Holly Black’s Tithe at 14 and have never been the same since. I started reaching for horror as an adult in late 2019, a habit that was accelerated by the pandemic. Reading and writing are my number one form of escapism, and in March 2020, the high fantasies I usually reached for to flee my own anxiety suddenly weren’t cutting it. I needed a headier hit. I needed suspense. I needed someone else’s fear to distract from my own. My attention span was also shattered in those early pandemic days (and still is, honestly), so I frequently turn to short fiction and podcasts. The Dark and Nightmare Magazine are my mainstays, as is Snap Judgement’s Spooked podcast.

(7) INSIDE HORROR. The latest post in the Horror Writers Association’s “Halloween Haunts” series is “Why Do We Like Being Scared?”  Marlena Frank offers a theory:

…As we get near Halloween, I find myself thinking about this often. The difference, I think, is whether the terror is safe or not. Can the bad guy take off his mask and he’s laughing and normal again? Or is the bad guy real and this isn’t a joke?…

(8) STOLEN PUNCHLINE. I saw a headline “Blue Origin Crew Members Concerned About New Uniforms.” But it turned out that this isn’t a photo of William Shatner from today’s flight.


  • 1995 – Twenty-six years ago this day, James Cameron’s Strange Days debuted at the cinema. It was written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks, and produced by Cameron and Steven-Charles Jaffe. It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow who was briefly married to Cameron but divorced by this time.  It stars Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, and Tom Sizemore.  Ok, it bombed at the box making back only seven million dollars of the over fifty million dollars in production and publicity costs. It really polarized critics at time because of its extreme violence though now those attitudes have changed significantly and it currently has a rather excellent seventy-three percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently Cameron wrote the novelization of the film. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 13, 1906 Joseph Samachson. In 1955, he co-created with artist Joe Certa the Martian Manhunter in the pages of Detective Comics #225. Earlier he penned Captain Future pulp novels around 1940 under a house name. (House names often blur who did what.) He also wrote scripts for Captain Video and His Video Rangers, a late Forties to mid Fifties series. There’s a lot of his fiction including those Captain Future pulp novels at the usual suspects for very reasonable prices. (Died 1980.)
  • Born October 13, 1914 Walter Brooke. You know him for muttering a certain word in The Graduate but he’s earlier noteworthy for being General T. Merrit in Conquest of Space, a Fifties SF film, one of many genre roles he did including The Wonderful World of the Brothers GrimmThe Munsters, MaroonedThe Return of Count Yorga and The Nude Bomb (also known as The Return of Maxwell Smart). (Died 1986.)
  • Born October 13, 1923 Cyril Shaps. He appears in a number of Doctor Who stories,  to wit The Tomb of the CybermenThe Ambassadors of DeathPlanet of the Spiders and The Androids of Tara which means he’s appeared with the Second, Third and Fourth Doctors. He was also Mr. Pinkus in The Spy Who Loved Me, and he was in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady as Emperor Franz Josef. The latter stars Christopher Lee and Patrick Macnee as Holmes and Watson. (Died 2003.)
  • Born October 13, 1956 Chris Carter, 65. Best known for the X-Files and Millennium which I think is far better than X-Files was, but also responsible for Harsh Realm which lasted three episodes before being cancelled. The Lone Gunmen which was a good concept poorly executed managed to last thirteen episodes before poor ratings made them bite the bullet. He retired from doing anything creative after The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
  • Born October 13, 1959 Wayne Pygram, 62. His most SFish role was as Scorpius on Farscape and he has a cameo as Grand Moff Tarkin in Revenge of the Sith because he’s a close facial resemblance to Peter Cushing. He’s likely best recognized as himself for his appearance on Lost as a faith healer named Isaac of Uluru.
  • Born October 13, 1976 Jennifer Sky, 45. Lead character conveniently named Cleopatra in Sam Raimi’s Cleopatra 2525 series. (Opening theme “In the Year 2525” is performed by Gina Torres who’s also a cast member.) She’s had guest roles on Seaquest DSVXenaCharmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And she is Lola in The Helix…Loaded, a parody of The Matrix which scores fourteen percent at Rotten Tomatoes among audience reviewers. 
  • Born October 13, 1983 Katie Winter, 38. Katrina Crane on Sleepy Hollow, Freydis Eriksdottir on Legends of Tomorrow and Gwen Karlsson on Blood & Treasure which is at genre adjacent. She appeared in Malice in Wonderland, a film best forgotten, and Banshee Chapter, based loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft “From Beyond” short story. She plays Little Nina in The Boys, the DC superhero series on Amazon Prime. 

(11) IATSE STRIKE THREATENED. “Film TV workers union says strike to start next week” reports the AP, and this could, of course, affect many upcoming genre movies and TV shows.

The union representing film and television crews says its 60,000 members will begin a nationwide strike on Monday if it does not reach a deal that satisfies demands for fair and safe working conditions.

to filming on a broad swath of film and television productions and extend well beyond Hollywood, affecting productions in Georgia, New Mexico and other North American shoots.

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees International President Matthew Loeb said Wednesday that the strike would begin at 12:01 a.m. Monday unless an agreement is reached on rest and meal periods and pay for its lowest-paid workers.

Loeb cited a lack of urgency in the pace of negotiations for setting a strike date.

“Without an end date, we could keep talking forever,” Loeb said in a statement. “Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”

A strike would be a serious setback for an industry that had recently returned to work after long pandemic shutdowns and recurring aftershocks amid new outbreaks.

… Union members say they are forced to work excessive hours and are not given reasonable rest via meal breaks and sufficient time off between shifts. Leaders say the lowest paid crafts get unlivable wages. And streamers like Netflix, Apple and Amazon are allowed to pay even less under previous agreements that allowed them more flexibility when they were up-and-comers.

“We’ve continued to try and impress upon the employers the importance of our priorities, the fact that this is about human beings, and the working conditions are about dignity and health and safety at work,” said Rebecca Rhine, national executive director of the Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600. “The health and safety issues, the unsafe hours, the not breaking for meals, those were the exception for many years in the industry, which is a tough industry. But what they’ve become is the norm.”

(12) ‘TIS ALMOST THE SEASON. A Broadway production that won five Tony Awards this year is coming to Southern California — A Christmas Carol at the Ahmanson Center Theatre.

Two visionary Tony Award® winners—playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), director Matthew Warchus (Matilda)—offer a magical new interpretation of Charles Dickens’ timeless story starring three-time Emmy® winner Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale, The West Wing, Get Out, The Post) as Ebenezer Scrooge; Tony and Emmy Award nominee Kate Burton as Ghost of Christmas Past; and Grammy®, SAG Award, Critics Choice, and Hollywood Critics Association Award nominee Alex Newell as Ghost of Christmas Present/Mrs. Fezziwig.

(13) KNOCK-ON EFFECT. David Gerrold has an extended comment about a Facebook friend he didn’t make.

I won’t identify the author, he’s a fairly well-known guy, published by Baen. I’ve never met him in person, never even exchanged notes on FB, but I read one of his books last year and enjoyed it a lot, so when his name showed up on “People You Might Know,” I sent a friend request.

He replied, “Are you f**king kidding?”

I said, “I respect writers, I enjoyed your book.”

He grunted and snarled and blocked me.

He’s not the only Baen person who has slammed a door in my face.

IMHO, this is another piece of the damage caused by those who set out to disrupt fandom, the Worldcon, and the Hugos. They also succeeded in disrupting the possibilities of friendships and even working relationships for a great many others….

(14) STAR SMACK. George Takei had a snarky reply to actor Dean Cain’s complaint about the forthcoming comics where Superman is bi-sexual.

(15) WEBB WEAVING. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Though progress seems to be earned inch by inch, the much-delayed James Webb Space Telescope is finally nearing its equatorial launch point. If all goes well, it will (finally!) be launched this December. “NASA’s Webb Space Telescope Arrives in French Guiana After Sea Voyage” reports the agency.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope successfully arrived in French Guiana Tuesday, after a 16-day journey at sea. The 5,800-mile voyage took Webb from California through the Panama Canal to Port de Pariacabo on the Kourou River in French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America.

The world’s largest and most complex space science observatory will now be driven to its launch site, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, where it will begin two months of operational preparations before its launch on an Ariane 5 rocket, scheduled for Dec. 18.

Once operational, Webb will reveal insights about all phases of cosmic history – back to just after the big bang – and will help search for signs of potential habitability among the thousands of exoplanets scientists have discovered in recent years…. 

(16) OVERCOMER. Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will be offering “Centennial of a Pioneering Pilot: Bessie Coleman” on November 2 as part of their GE Aviation Lecture Series. It will be presented on YouTube with live closed captioning. Sign up here.

In the 1920s, Bessie Coleman toured the U.S. as a barnstormer, entertaining crowds with her aerial aerobatics and inspiring contemporaries with her boundless determination to fly despite significant racial and gender prejudice. A champion of other early aviators, she planned to open a flight school for African Americans, a dream unfulfilled due to her untimely death in 1926. Coleman has been an inspiration and role model to generations of pilots and an enduring symbol of perseverance. Join us for a panel discussion celebrating Coleman’s centennial achievement, boundary-breaking life, and lasting legacy.

(17) PRODUCT OF FRICTION. In episode 63 of Two Chairs Talking, “And after the fire…”. David Grigg and Perry Middlemiss discuss — and disagree about — “The Bass Rock” and “Notes from the Burning Age” as well as two of the novels nominated for this year’s Hugo Award.

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “The Movie Sequel Tutorial” on Screen Rant, written by Ryan George, Juliette Danger plays movie sequel producer Barbara Rarbrarb, who says she gave James Cameron the idea for Avatar 2 “and had him spinning like a top.  She says she takes ideas “that haven’t been squeezed for everything they’ve got just yet.”   And if Two Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest or The Martian 2:  Lost My Keys aren’t greenlit, well, just go to the toy store and pick a toy that hasn’t been turned into a movie yet!

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, rcade, Cora Buhlert, Jeffrey Smith, Karen B., John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter. Michael Toman, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn.]

63 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/13/21 Filed Gruntbuggly, Thy Pixelations Are To Me

  1. (18) I need to watch this. My idea for the sequel to “Fahrenheit 451” (“Then Cool for 20 Minutes and Serve”) may already have been taken, and I need to know.

  2. And tonight Alasdair Reynolds’ Inhibitor Phase, the latest in his Revelation Space series, which yesterday was supposedly delayed by nearly two weeks came out on Audible, so that’s my next listening experience. Ymmm!

  3. Trivia point about Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Simon R, Green wrote the novelisation which allowed his American publisher, Ace, to put “New York Times bestseller” on damn near every book that they released thereafter. Mind you it had nothing to do with the books that it was on…

  4. 11) How many people remember that our own Wilson “Bob” Tucker, a former stagehand and later a motion picture projectionist, spent some time as President of his IATSE union local?

  5. 18) I spent a few minutes working out that Rarbrarb is not actually an anagram of Barbara. In case anyone was wondering.

    You leave the Pixsylvania station ’bout a quarter to four
    Scroll a couple files and then you’re in Baltimore

  6. 15) I went to a planetarium show about how it was going to launch some years back. At the time it was going to be launching “very soon!” “If all goes well” is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

  7. @Kit Harding

    15) […] “If all goes well” is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

    Oh, absolutely acknowledged! But at this time at least it’s in the general vicinity of the rocket designated to carry it to space.

  8. (13) If David Gerrold says he is a fan of your work, the correct response is to post a video of your dancing in joy.

  9. (14) The Twitter responses to George Takei’s comment are worth noting. The claim is that this is an inaccurate twisting of what Dean Cain actually complained about, which was that this wasn’t a “bold or brave decision”. “If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave. But brave would be having him fight for the rights of gay people in Iran.”

  10. Wired magazine recently published an article about Becky Chambers:
    Is Becky Chambers the Ultimate Hope for Science Fiction?

    As you might guess, Betteridge’s Law of Headlines applies — when the headline asks a question, the answer is pretty much always “no”. I mean, I’ve read all of her books and would call myself a fan, but “ultimate hope” is an awfully large claim.

  11. @David Goldfarb: it’s pretty clearly a play on the hopeful nature of her writing. But sure, hyperbole is just the worst thing ever.

  12. 9) And yet again I’m reminded that it’s a crime and a shame that Strange Days has never gotten any kind of decent home video release, at least in the US.

  13. 18) My idea for the ultimate movie sequel would be to do an ad campaign for Groundhog’s Day 2 and then re-release the original film.

    10) Subsequent to I Want to Believe in 2008, Chris Carter worked as producer, writer and director on “After” which was green lighted* by Amazon in 2014 but cancelled before any production beyond the pilot as well as on the mini-seasons of X-Files in 2016 and 2018. If this qualifies as “creative” may be subject to debate.

    One word or two? Greenlighted or Greenlit?

  14. @David Goldfarb, that article was the first item on the Scroll back on September 16th. Our host has scooped you by almost a month.

  15. (13j That Baen author’s response is bonkers. Someone has been in an echo chamber for too long, and it shows.

    I used to spend a lot of money on on Baen Books. I even bought some books from some of their most hardline conservative authors. After all, lots of people enjoyed them even if they disagreed with their politics. (I liked parts of “Freehold,” although I might feel differently now.)

    Then, the Bar started to get weird — long before the latest outrage. Writers who used to get along with people they disagreed with apparently forgot how to do that. Maybe they believed that civility was a sign of weakness? Maybe the earlier civility was just a veneer. I dunno.

    And just as the Bar got weirder, so did some of the publishing choices. Books that made me say, “Okaaaay…” So I stopped buying as many of their books, and I know I’m not the only one. I got the impression that Baen and many of its authors didn’t care as long as they kept the core fans.

    Also, so many of the hardcore fans were stubborn one-publisher readers who were convinced that all other SFF publishers were putting out boring, leftist literary dribble that no one actually enjoyed. (Apparently, they don’t read much beyond Baen, because that belief is bonkers.)

    But maybe if you keep writing and publishing books to appeal to that base, you lose track of everything else… Like civility and graciousness. Like the idea that it’s better for authors in the same field to get along in case they some day have to band against a common enemy, such as an anthology that steals their work or whatever.

    And I feel for the Baen authors who are not like that and who are losing sales.

    Also, thanks to the Gerrold thread, I was today old when I learned that David Gerrold was the uncredited creator of the Land of the Lost TV show!

  16. Steve Leavell correct me by noting that Subsequent to I Want to Believe in 2008, Chris Carter worked as producer, writer and director on “After” which was green lighted* by Amazon in 2014 but cancelled before any production beyond the pilot as well as on the mini-seasons of X-Files in 2016 and 2018. If this qualifies as “creative” may be subject to debate.

    Missed that one. And I should’ve included the mini-seasons of X-Files but, errr, I have my strong reservations about them. I really do.

    Now watching the second episode of CSI Vegas, the sequel to CSI six years after it was cancelled.

  17. Cat: You didn’t miss much by missing “After.” Amazon streamed it and I thought it was a jumbled mess. Carter said it would have been a 99 episode modernization of Dante’s Inferno with each episode representing a canto, but I certainly didn’t see any signs of that in the pilot.

    As far as the later-day X-files go, I think it’s fair to say the best episodes were the ones Carter had the least to do with.

  18. 10). Walter Brooke also played District Attorney Scanlon, an ally, on the 1966-67 series The Green Hornet, a sister show to Batman.

  19. Anne: It only got treated as a first comment because your login email ended “comto”, which may be an autofill error because I’ve seen that happen to some of your previous comments.

  20. 1)

    Datlow and Kressel still plan to publish a video recording of the event on YouTube, but the readings will no longer be presented live online

    And thus we see accessibility gains made during the pandemic starting to slip away. I’ll be curious to see what conventions manage to retain a virtual component.

  21. @Anne: Thank you for your comment about Baen:

    “The Paean re Baen has been written plain. (I think he’s got it! By Ghu, he’s got it!)”

  22. Mike Glyer wrote:

    Anne: It only got treated as a first comment because your login email ended “comto”, which may be an autofill error because I’ve seen that happen to some of your previous comments.

    Oh! I typed it up on my iPad, and my finger went flying into one of the fields. Now I know where that missing “to” went. blush

  23. Andrew (not Werdna) wrote:

    “The Paean re Baen has been written plain. (I think he’s got it! By Ghu, he’s got it!)”

    Whoops! You found that before I edited it. I should have kept the original. 🙂 I edited it because I looked up “paean” and realized I was thinking more along the lines of a sad poem, even a dirge, but truly, Paean is more suitable to Baen.

    Cat Eldridge wrote:

    Well I for one am still interested in it so please repost it.

    Mike rescued it! Without having to toss a stowaway out the airlock.

  24. 2) So I was reading this book, Beatles ’66: The Revolutionary Year by Steve Turner, which was detailed enough to give an account of Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher’s acting career. And it included a copy of this playbill of a show she was in. The book said nothing further about it, but read the cast list carefully. Very carefully.

  25. David Shallcross: Who was the grammarian/editor who held the line against turning nouns into verbs (and vice-versa) I’m sure there were many, but there’s one I ought to remember. Strunk, maybe? I think for a while back in the day it was a Ross vs. Luce, New Yorker vs. Time issue.

    I’m very close to going over to John McWhorter’s position that language is going to do what language is going to do.

  26. And just as the Bar got weirder, so did some of the publishing choices. Books that made me say, “Okaaaay…” So I stopped buying as many of their books, and I know I’m not the only one.

    Baen’s Bar has a reputation for extremist content but the books also have become more extreme and far right over the years.

    Here’s a back cover blurb for a 2008 book that it published. Can anyone imagine another major SF imprint running it?

    “Slavery is a part of Islam . . . Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” —Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, author of the religious textbook At-Tawhid (“Monotheism”) and senior Saudi cleric.

    Demography is destiny. In the 22nd century European deathbed demographics have turned the continent over to the more fertile Moslems. Atheism in Europe has been exterminated. Homosexuals are hanged, stoned or crucified. Such Christians as remain are relegated to dhimmitude, a form of second class citizenship. They are denied arms, denied civil rights, denied a voice, and specially taxed via the Koranic yizya. Their sons are taken as conscripted soldiers while their daughters are subject to the depredations of the continent’s new masters.

    In that world, Petra, a German girl sold into prostitution as a slave at the age of nine to pay her family’s yizya, dreams of escape. Unlike most girls of the day, Petra can read. And in her only real possession, her grandmother’s diary, a diary detailing the fall of European civilization, Petra has learned of a magic place across the sea: America. But it will take more than magic to free Petra and Europe from their bonds; it will take guns, superior technology, and a reborn spirit of freedom.

  27. rcade says Baen’s Bar has a reputation for extremist content but the books also have become more extreme and far right over the years.

    They certainly tolerate, if not outright encourage, right wing political extremism, in many of their authors.

    I stopped reading anything from that publisher at least a decade ago not because of books like this one but because even their non-political works were so damn poorly edited that I got sick of the far too common proofing mistakes that were in them. Edit properly, damn it!

    Now listening to Charles de Lint’s Jack the Gaint Killer, a perfect Autumnal tale indeed. And reading Cat Rambo’s You Sexy Thing.

  28. @Rcade, ah yes, Tom Kratman. I remember reading the blurb from that at the time and thought “No, not for me. Definitively not for me.”

    it was around the same time that Dan Simmon’s horrible little time travel story about a time traveller from the future where the evil Muslim horde was destroying the world and so he goes to warn his younger self got published on his website.

  29. rcade wrote:

    Baen’s Bar has a reputation for extremist content but the books also have become more extreme and far right over the years.

    That’s definitely true. I wonder if they decided to “feed” the hardcore fans who posted their views a lot — and then ended up creating a sort of hydra.

    Here’s a back cover blurb for a 2008 book that it published. Can anyone imagine another major SF imprint running it?

    I remember that one. It makes “The Executioner” novels look like odes to liberalism. It’s as if Chet Cunningham’s “The Penetrator” books had babies with William W. Johnstone post-apocalyptic books. It’s the sort of book that might be at home with a men’s adventure publisher rather than a real SF publisher because most SF readers would reject the premise, but some of the men’s adventure crowd would love it.

    Also, the blurb makes me wonder if the author really really wanted to write about terrible things happening to homosexuals. And women.

  30. I’m sure I’m far from alone at this, but at this point my only engagement with Baen is when a new P.C. Hodgell comes out.

    And maybe Simon R. Green, although I still have plenty of his older, pre-Baen books waiting unread.

  31. In re: Caliphate – insofar as that exact scenario (Islamic invasion replacing and suppressing the indigenous people, culture, and religion) has played out in history many times, the idea that it could happen again in the future is a legitimate plotline for a work of speculative fiction. The actual book may be badly written (never read any Kratman so I don’t know) but the Big Idea, as Scalzi would say, is not absurd.

    It’s simple math, so simple I won’t bother to spell it out. By the dawn of the 22nd century Europe will have an overwhelming Muslim majority. And unless you’ve had your head on the sand for the past 40 years or so, you know or ought to know how Muslim majority countries behave towards women, homosexuals, non-Muslims, etc. So Kratman’s scenario is not only plausible but likely. I hope not but as a student of history I’m all too familiar with the scenario-of course it’s not just Muslims but everyone who does such things. It’s happened many thousands of times. It can happen again; indeed it’s currently happening in many areas around the globe. The Uighurs, anyone? Though I do agree that the cover art is terrible.

    Tl;dr A plausible scenario and a legit subject for a work of speculative fiction.

  32. I’m sure I’m far from alone at this, but at this point my only engagement with Baen is when a new P.C. Hodgell comes out.

    Same. Though I add Jim Cambias (Godel Operation was so good) to the one I’ll buy when he publishes.
    Maybe Bujold if she publishes anything else with them.

  33. The idea of a Muslim demographic takeover of Europe/the West was a doomsday scenario popular on the right during the G. W. Bush administration, around the time this Baen novel was apparently published. Mark Steyn’s “America Alone” was a well known book on the subject.


  34. The idea that Muslims who have been living in Europe for generations — and thus A:tend to be the moderate ones that are leaving Middle Eastern Countries so as not to be persecuted for being moderates and B: have likely absorbed at least some European values — will not only overtake Christians demographically but will immediately revert to their most extreme brethren is not a “realistic” scenario, it’s an absurd one.

    Even if Europe becomes browner, it does not follow that the values of the countries of necessity will change, unless you are trying to claim that even moderate Muslims, many of them feminists or pro-LGBTQIA, are just waiting to hit a certain population balance to immediately reject all their less extremist views.

    More than that, last I heard it was the ANTI-immigrant, and mostly pale-skinned, right wing nutjobs* who were actively promoting the largest amount of bigotry and totalitarianism.

    *NOT to be confused with normal conservatives, of which Europe has some.

  35. Miles, you’re a contemptuous idiot. I know a lot of Muslim-Americans who are the nicest individuals you’ll ever who would never think of doing what you suggest. Furthermore they have family members living in Europe who are fully merged into the civic culture there as well. I fear hardline Christians more than I do them.

  36. @Miles

    “So Kratman’s scenario is not only plausible but likely.”

    The same line of ‘reasoning’ could be used – and, IIRC, HAS been used – against Catholicism not that many years ago. Does that make a novel showing a country getting taken over by Catholics due to their higher birthrate and then immediately outlawing birth control and instituting an Inquisition “not only plausible but likely?”

  37. Briefly, because otherwise I will get very rude and very angry very quickly: Almost all the victims and resistance and just plain keep-your-head-down-scared in the middle east are also members of the exact same group, and amount to the vast majority. Endorsing the Marmot’s virulent hatred only reveals your own blinkers.

  38. ^ Correction to (and apology for) above, as “middle east” is not and should not be treated as synonymous with “mired in strife”: Also all the perfectly ordinary people living perfectly ordinary lives.

  39. Meredith moment: the first volumes of Poul and Karen Anderson’s King of Ys series are available from the usual suspects for a buck ninety nine apiece.

  40. BravoLimaPoppa: I add Jim Cambias (Godel Operation was so good) to the one I’ll buy when he publishes.

    I thought A Darkling Sea was absolutely fantastic – Hugo-worthy level – and I enjoyed Corsair. But Arkad’s World was so appallingly bad, I was afraid to try Godel Operation, especially because my library doesn’t have it, so I would have to pay to read it.

  41. @Nancy Sauer: Right you are. Apologies for repeating content — but I wonder why Wired waited a month to put it in their email newsletter?

  42. @Anne Marble
    I never bought a lot of Baen books, because of their well-known distribution issues in Europe. But I did buy quite a few over the years. Nowadays, that’s down to Bujold, Lee/Miller, Hodgell, probably Simon R. Green (still annoyed about that one) and maybe the occasional classic reprint.

    As for getting along with other authors in spite of ideological differences, I recently recommended Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter books to someone who was looking for urban fantasy about killing monsters – with the caveat not to google the author or look up his social media, because he’s a known jerk.

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