Pixel Scroll 10/26/21 Big Pixel In Little Scroll

(1) KRUGMAN’S RINGING ENDORSEMENT. “‘Dune’ Is the Movie We Always Wanted” says Paul Krugman.  After pausing to tell us why he hates Apple TV’s Foundation series, he tells why he loves the Villenueve Dune adaptation.

… Now on to “Dune.” The book is everything “Foundation” isn’t: There’s a glittering, hierarchical society wracked by intrigue and warfare, a young hero of noble birth who may be a prophesied Messiah, a sinister but alluring sisterhood of witches, fierce desert warriors and, of course, giant worms.

And yes, it’s fun. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would engage in mock combat in which the killing blow had to be delivered slowly to penetrate your opponent’s shield — which will make sense if you read the book or watch the movie.

What makes “Dune” more than an ordinary space opera are two things: its subtlety and the richness of its world-building.

Thus, the Bene Gesserit derive their power not from magic but from deep self-control, awareness and understanding of human psychology. The journey of Paul Atreides is heroic but morally ambiguous; he knows that if he succeeds, war and vast slaughter will follow.

And the world Herbert created is given depth by layers of cultural references. He borrowed from Islamic and Ayurvedic traditions, from European feudalism and more — “Dune” represents cultural appropriation on a, well, interstellar scale. It’s also deeply steeped in fairly serious ecological thinking…

(2) SILICON VOLLEY. Did you have any doubts? “’Dune: Part 2′ Officially Greenlit” reports Variety. But you have to wait ‘til 2023 to see it.

… Legendary Entertainment announced the news in a tweet on Tuesday, ensuring that the spice will continue to flow on screen. Warner Bros. will distribute the film and help finance it, though Legendary is the primary money behind the movie and owns the film rights to the book series. The film is expected to have an exclusive theatrical run, and Legendary will likely make that point iron-clad after “Dune” debuted simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max last week. The unorthodox distribution pattern was a pandemic-era concession by Warner Bros., but one that caused an uproar when it was unveiled in 2020. “Dune: Part 2” will hit theaters on Oct. 20, 2023….

When interviewed by Variety at the Toronto Film Festival, Villeneuve said, “I wanted at the beginning to do the two parts simultaneously. For several reasons, it didn’t happen, and I agreed to the challenge of making part one and then wait to see if the movie rings enough enthusiasm… As I was doing the first part, I really put all my passion into it, in case it would be the only one. But I’m optimistic.”

(3) DISCON III BUSINESS MEETING DEADLINE. Meeting chair Kevin Standlee reminds all that the deadline for submitting proposals to the 2021 WSFS Business Meeting is November 16, 2021. Any two or more members of DisCon III (including supporting and virtual members) may sponsor new business. Submit proposals to businessmeeting@discon3.org. See “A Guide to the WSFS Business Meeting at DisCon III” [PDF file] for more information about the WSFS Business Meeting.

Reports from committees of the Business Meeting and financial reports from Worldcon committees are also due by November 16, 2021. Send reports to businessmeeting@discon3.org.

(4) RED ALERT. Remember when you had half a year to do all your Hugo reading? Okay, now’s time to panic. DisCon III today posted a reminder that the Hugo voting deadline is just a few weeks away.

(5) 6TH ANNUAL CITY TECH SF SYMPOSIUM. The Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on Access and SF has extended the submission deadline of its call for papers until October 29. See full guidelines at the link.

The Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium aims to explore the broad theme of “Access and SF” as a way to understand the relationship between access and SF, identify what’s at stake and for whom, foster alliances between those fighting for access, and discuss how improving access for some improves access for all.

The Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium is a virtual event that will be held online Thursday, December 9 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern at CUNY in New York.

(6) HORROR TRIUMVIRATE Q&A. Goodreads invites fans to “Meet the Authors of Today’s Big Horror Novels”.

Stephen Graham Jones, author of My Heart Is a Chainsaw

GR: What’s your definition of a perfect horror novel?

SGJ: One that changes your daily behavior—makes you afraid of the shower, afraid of the dark, suspicious of the people in your life. One that leaves you no longer certain about yourself or the world you live in. A perfect horror novel is one you forget is a book at all. It’s one that lodges in your head and your heart as an experience, a little perturbation inside you that you only snag your thoughts on when alone. But when those thoughts start to seep blood, you place that cut to your mouth and drink. This is the nourishment you need, never mind how drained it leaves you feeling. Nothing’s for free.

Caitlin Starling, author of The Death of Jane Lawrence

GR: What’s your definition of a perfect horror novel?

CS:  I want to drown in atmosphere. That doesn’t mean I want only slow-moving horror but books that feel like the movies The Blackcoat’s Daughter or A Dark Song—something in that vein. I also want characters that I can live inside, that even if I question their decisions, I don’t just hate or want to suffer. It’s more fun for me to watch a character I enjoy struggle.

Grady Hendrix, author of The Final Girl Support Group

GR: What sparked the idea for your latest book?

GH: Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to see R-rated movies, so after Boy Scout meetings when our Scoutmaster took us to the gas station for snacks, I convinced him that I was allowed to buy issues of Fangoria with my snack money instead. I’d pore over Fango’s deeply detailed plot breakdowns and photo spreads so that I could pretend to have seen all these horror movies. The first one I remember was their feature on the opening of Friday the 13th Part 2, in which the final girl from Part 1, played by Adrienne King, gets murdered by Jason. The casual cruelty of that blew my mind. This woman had seen all her friends die, decapitated the killer, and survived, but she still couldn’t let her guard down. I always wanted to write her a happier ending.
(Fun fact: Adrienne King is the audiobook narrator for The Final Girl Support Group.)

(7) CLASSISM IN SESSION. In “The Potterization of Science Fiction”, The Hugo Book Club Blog decries a prevalent type of sff story, and the distortions it has wrought on the TV adaptation of Foundation.

…One of the fundamentally troubling assumptions behind the born-great protagonist is the anti-democratic idea that the lives of some people simply matter more than the lives of other people. If we accept that Harry Potter is destined to be the only one who can do the thing that’s important, then why should we care about the life of Ritchie Coote? Likewise, if Aragorn is destined for the throne then we have to accept that all other Men of Gondor would be incapable of managing the kingdom (let alone Women of Gondor). There is a direct link between the idea that one person can be born great, with the ideas that underpin racism, classism, and sexism. See also: the equally flawed “great man” theory….

(8) DEATH FROM ABOVE. In the latest episode of Phil Nichols and Colin Kuskie’s Science Fiction 101 podcast, “Fly Me To The Moon”, they review The Apollo Murders.

The author, Chris Hadfield, has flown on the Space Shuttle and on Soyuz, worked on the Russian Mir space station, and commanded the International Space Station. You can’t get more astronaut experience than that.

….If you’ve been tempted by The Apollo Murders, listen to our review to see if it’s the kind of thing that appeal to you. But do be warned: here there be spoilers!

(9) FRIENDLY LOCAL GAME STORE DOCUMENTARY. [Item by Olav Rokne.] Here’s a trailer for an interesting Kickstarter documentary about the largest independent games store on Earth. Now, I might be biased, since I worked there in the 1990s, but Sentry Box is great. One of the best SF book selections anywhere (Gord, the owner handed me my first copy of Lest Darkness Fall … and Steve Jackson and Judith Reeves-Stevens used to visit the store semi-regularly.) 

(10) MEMORY LANE.

1984 – Thirty-seven years ago, The Terminator said “I’ll be back” as the first in that franchise was released.  It was directed by James Cameron who wrote it along with Gale Anne Hurd who also produced it. (She would marry Cameron in 1985.) It starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton.  Almost all the critics at the time really liked it, though the New York Times thought there was way too much violence. You think? One critic at the time said it had, and I quote, “guns, guns and more guns.” Huh.  Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it a very high score of eighty-nine percent. I was surprised that it did not get a Hugo nomination.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 26, 1942 Bob Hoskins. I’ll insist his role as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is his finest genre role though I suppose Mario Mario in Super Mario Bros. could be said… Just kidding! He’s the Director of The Raggedy Rawney which he also had a role, a strange might be genre film, and he’s Smee in Hook as well. (Died 2014.)
  • Born October 26, 1954 Jennifer Roberson, 67. Writer of of fantasy and historical romances. The Chronicles of the Cheysuli is her fantasy series about shapeshifters and their society, and the Sword-Dancer Saga is the desert based adventure series of sort, but the series I’ve enjoyed is her Sherwood duo-logy that consists of Lady of the Forest and Lady of Sherwood which tells the Robin Hood tale from the perspective of Marian. Her hobby, which consumes much of her time, is breeding and showing Cardigan Welsh Corgis. 
  • Born October 26, 1960 Patrick Breen, 61. He’s Redgick, a Squid, a minor character that appeared in Men in Black. In beloved Galaxy Quest, he’s Quelled, a Thermian who forms a bond with Alexander Dane. It’s a wonderful role. And he has a recurring role as Larry Your-Waiter, a member of V.F.D. on A Series of Unfortunate Events series. 
  • Born October 26, 1962 Faith Hunter, 59. Her longest running and most notable series to date is the Jane Yellowrock series though I’ve mixed feelings about the recent turn of events. She’s got a nifty SF series called Junkyard that’s been coming out on Audible first. Her only award to date is the Lifetime Achievement award to a science fiction professional given by DeepSouthCon. 
  • Born October 26, 1962 Cary Elwes, 57. He’s in the ever-so-excellent Princess Bride which won a Hugo at Nolacon II as Westley / Dread Pirate Roberts / The Man in Black. He also shows up in Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the Saw franchise, and was cast as Larry Kline, Mayor of Hawkins, for the third season of Stranger Things. And no, that’s hardly all his genre roles. 
  • Born October 26, 1963 Keith Topping, 58. It being the month of ghoulies, I’ve got another academic for you. He’s published Slayer: The Totally Cool Unofficial Guide to BuffyHollywood Vampire: An Expanded and Updated Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to AngelThe Complete Slayer: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Every Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and one and one for horror film fans in general, A Vault of Horror: A Book of 80 Great British Horror Movies from 1956-1974. He’s also written some novels in the Doctor Who universe, some with Martin Day, and written non-fiction works on the original Avengers, you know which ones I mean, with Martin Day also, and ST: TNG & DS9 and Stargate as well with Paul Cornell. 
  • Born October 26, 1971 Jim Butcher, 50. I really don’t know how far I got in the the Dresden Files, at least though Proven Guilty, and I will go back to it eventually. Who here has read his other series, Codex Alera and Cinder Spires? I see he won a Dragon this year for his Battle Ground novel, the latest in the Dresden Files series.
  • Born October 26, 1973 Seth MacFarlane, 48. Ok, I confess that I tried watching The Orville which he created and it just didn’t appeal to me. For those of you who are fans, why do you like it? I will admit that having it described as trying to be a better Trek ain’t helping. 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Garfield shows we need some better way to handle giant robots. (I imagine Slim Pickens delivering the line in the comic.)

(13) DIOP WINS NEUSTADT. Boubacar Boris Diop is the 27th laureate of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which recognizes outstanding literary merit in literature worldwide. Diop is not a genre writer so far as I’m aware, but this major literary award news came out today.

Francophone writer Diop (b. 1946, Dakar, Senegal) is the author of many novels, plays and essays. He was awarded the Senegalese Republic Grand Prize in 1990 for Les Tambours de la mémoire as well as the Prix Tropiques for The Knight and His Shadow. His Doomi Golo was the first novel to be translated from Wolof into English. Toni Morrison called his novel Murambi: The Book of Bones “a miracle,” and the Zimbabwe International Book Fair listed it as one of the 100 best African books of the 20th century.

…The Neustadt Prize is the first international literary award of its scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists and playwrights are equally eligible. Winners are awarded $50,000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver and a certificate.

Boubacar Boris Diop

(14) SCIENCE FICTION IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE PRESENT.  Ali Karjoo-Ravary’s article about the Dune novel and movie’s use of culture is much more nuanced than the headline Slate gives it: “Is HBO’s 2021 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book a white savior narrative?”

…Part of this is also Herbert’s fault. By writing a story in which he intended to critique “Western man,” Herbert also centered Western man. Often when critiquing something, one falls into a binary that prevents the very third option that so many have been looking for since decolonization. Herbert’s greatest shortcoming can be seen in his analysis of T.E. Lawrence and the deification of leaders in an interview he gave in 1969. He said, “If Lawrence of Arabia had died at the crucial moment of the British … he would have been deified. And it would have been the most terrifying thing the British had ever encountered, because the Arabs would have swept that entire peninsula with that sort of force, because one of the things we’ve done in our society is exploited this power.”

Herbert’s shortcoming is not his idea that “Western man” seeks to exploit the deification of charismatic leaders but that Arabs (or any other non-Western) would fall easily for it. This notion, in fact, builds on a stereotype that motivated European powers to fund propaganda among Muslims during the world wars in the hope that they could provoke a global jihad against one another. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, because Islam isn’t a “warrior religion” whose followers are just waiting for the right trigger to go berserk. Islam’s followers are human and are as complicated and multifaceted as other humans. Herbert should have seen that more clearly….

(15) PILE THESE ON TOP OF MT. TBR. CrimeReads’ Rektok Ross recommends some compelling YA horror and sf novels: “9 YA Survival Thrillers To Get Your Heart Pounding This Fall”.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

During a catastrophic natural disaster, high school sophomore Miranda takes shelter with her family in this heart-stopping thriller. After a meteor knocks the moon closer to earth, worldwide tsunamis demolish entire cities, earthquakes rock the world, and ash from volcanic explosions block out the sun. When the summer turns dark and wintery in northeastern Pennsylvania, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother are forced to hideout in their sunroom, where they must survive solely on stockpiled food and limited water. Readers will find themselves completely riveted by this story of desperation in an unfamiliar world although there are small slivers of hope, too.

(16) UNCOVERED. Tenth Letter of the Alphabet, in “Inspiration: The Reflection”, compares Will Bradley’s 1894 art with the science fictional cover by Mike Hinge it inspired, published by the 1975 fanzine Algol. Editor Andrew Porter commented there —

…This issue was the first with a full color cover. Working with the artist, Mike Hinge, was a challenge. He was a stickler for details, even demanded that his copyright appear on the front cover, in the artwork! This was also the first issue with the covers printed on 10pt Kromecoate, so the image really bumped up.

I forgot to mention that Hinge also did interior artwork, for the Le Guin piece. Also, all the type on the cover, and the headlines inside was done using LetraSet, which I still have dozens of sheets of, though I haven’t used it in decades.

(17) TOCHI ONYEBUCHI AND NGHI VO. At Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, Nghi Vo and Tochi Onyebuchi joined Alan Bond and Karen Castelletti to talk about their 2021 Hugo Awards nominated works, Empress of Salt and Fortune and Riot Baby.

(18) FAMILY TREE. Joe Abercrombie’s response to Nina Melia’s tweet is, “Holy shit I’m Frodo in this metaphor?”

(19) THE WEED OF CRIME. In the Washington Post, Hannah Knowles says that federal prosecutors have charged Vinath Oudomzine for fraudulently obtaining a pandemic-related Small Businsss Administration loan. Prosecutors charge that Oudomosine spend $57,789 on a Pokemon card, which they did not identify. “Vinath Oudomsine used covid-19 business relief to buy a Pokémon card, federal prosecutors say”.

… On July 14, 2020, according to prosecutors, Oudomsine sought a loan for a business that he said had 10 employees and revenue of $235,000 over a year. The next month, court documents state, the SBA deposited $85,000 into a bank account in Oudomsine’s name.

Court filings give few details about the alleged Pokémon card purchase — such as which “Pocket Monster” it carried — simply stating that Oudomsine bought it “on or about” Jan. 8 of this year.

Collectible gaming cards can fetch big sums — this year, one unopened box of first-edition Pokémon cards sold for more than $400,000.

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Halloween Kills Pitch Meeting” on Screen Rant, which has spoilers, Ryan George says Michael Myers managers to escape from the cliffhanger of the previous Halloween movie, even though he’s “an eight-fingered 60-year-old with smoke inhalation.”  Also, Jamie Lee Curtis, despite her billing, is barely in the movie and about half the script is various characters saying, “Evil dies tonight!”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Chris Barkley, Lise Andreasen, Jennifer Hawthorne, Rob Thornton, Michael J. Walsh, Dann, Gadi Evron, Daniel Dern, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter, and Michael Toman for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Danny Sichel.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/26/21 Big Pixel In Little Scroll

  1. First!

    (10) MEMORY LANE. I dearly and madly love the first Terminator film which the Suck Fairy has not come near and have seen it myriad times but will confess right here that I’ve seen not a minute of any of the sequels, nor watched any of the series. Does that make me a bad fan?

  2. @Cat Eldridge: Linda Hamilton is even better* the second time around, so I think you might be missing out a little bit.

    * in a “holy **** do not mess with this woman” kind of way.

  3. Jim Janney on October 26, 2021 at 7:41 pm said:

    @Cat Eldridge: Linda Hamilton is even better the second time around, so I think you might be missing out a little bit.

    Seconded. Really good role.

  4. Have been hiding from the nor’easter all day. Cider is hiding with me.

    Slightly dizzy, and I have nothing useful to say right now.

  5. 7) Prince of Thorns trilogy is the story I’ve read which addresses this most directly. It’s protagonist just decides he’s going to be the chosen one instead.
    IRL, this narrative also provides an excuse for the rest of us to do nothing. I’m just a regular guy, what can you do, I’ll wait for the extraordinary hero to come along to solve the problem.

  6. Lis Carey says Have been hiding from the nor’easter all day. Cider is hiding with me.

    Slightly dizzy, and I have nothing useful to say right now.

    Hiding is good. I was out at Martins Point early this morning before it got bad and got back here just before it started pouring here, And then the wind kicked — it can still here howling outside. My apartment is as cozy as a hobbit hole.

    Now listening to Charles de Lint’s Forests of The Heart, first time I’ve listened to it though I’ve read it a number of times. The narrator, Jennifer Jill Araya, is most excellent.

  7. @Cat

    Terminator 2: Judgment Day is just about my favorite movie ever.

    Don’t bother with any of the ones in between–do Judgment Day and skip straight to Terminator: Dark Fate. It helps if you realize this is not John Connor’s story at all (or Schwartzenegger’s, for that matter): it’s Sarah’s.

    Also, the soundtrack for 2 is terrific. It’s the only soundtrack I’ve ever downloaded.

  8. 7) Eric Flint et al. have been constantly critiquing, subverting and undermining the Great Man Theory throughout the 1632 series, even though you could argue that it’s full of Great Men (and some damned Great Women).

    Of course, that’s his entire point: that the world is full of potentially Great Humans (“mute inglorious Miltons” and like that there).

  9. 7) Within Harry Potter fanfic there’s a semi-common thing where somebody takes a blood-based lineage test and discovers that they’re either secretly a pureblood or descended from one of the Founders. (Or heir to a Noble Title.) So even in something that’s already a chosen one story, there’s an urge to make it more so.

    18) How are we defining “read”? I haven’t read anything by Abercrombie, Jordan, or Rothfuss, but the only Sanderson I’ve read is the stuff he did for Magic: The Gathering.

  10. 11.Butcher) Have read all (I think) of the Dresden Files, and all five of the Codex Alera (pretty good fantasy) and the first (only?) of the Cinder Spires book(s). That last one, I keep wanting to know what happens.

    18) Actually not sure if I’ve readd anything by Patrick Rothfuss or not. I mean, I recognise the name. But, I cannot say “yes, I read X by P R”, with any confidence.

  11. 10) I think Terminator 2 is a legit good film and would recommend it! It does have a slightly different vibe, perhaps similar to the difference between Alien and Aliens going from sci-fi horror to more sci-fi action (but with horror elements). I haven’t watched any of the rest, having seen the poor reviews (maybe I am missing out?).

    I did watch the TV series which I thought was okay and not bad, but would not go out of my way to recommend (but probably above average if you like the genre).

  12. (4) Panic mode engaged

    (11) Orville is earnest in a way that I enjoy. The characters have their goofy sides, but fundamentally, they are all doing their best to do good.

  13. (7) I’ve read some great stories that were not about the Chosen One or the Great Man (or Greet Woman). At the same time, I don’t want to cast out this trope. Where would “Henry V” be without it? Would it be called “Falstaff: The Origin”?

    Maybe writers use this idea because they believe in the Chosen One concept. Or maybe it’s easier to write an epic tale if you choose the Chosen One as your main character. Or maybe (and I’m just speculating here) they simply like that character and want to write about them?

    It can lead to some horrible stories — but also some of the best. And in the hands of some of the best authors, the stories don’t really illuminate the Great Ones but the people around them.

    OTOH it’s also great to have stories that look into the dark side of this trope. Or tales that tear down this trope. There’s room for the Ungreat One stories as well.

    (10) That movie also resulted in a classic joke:
    https://twitter.com/tismenic70/status/1226759413236686848?s=21

  14. 2) Given the predilections of Hollywood production companies, Dune: Part Deux was never guaranteed to happen right up until yesterday. I had hopes but, yes, I also had doubts. (And given the predilections of Hollywood production companies, they can still back out of it.)

    18) Terry Pratchett is the only one that I haven’t read. I bounced off of Wheel of Time, so Robert Jordan is a close second.

    Re: Rothfuss – “The Name of the Wind” – some of the best fantasy writing that I’ve seen in a long time. Get ready to dive hard and deep.

    Regards,
    Dann
    A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. – Thomas Jefferson

  15. 11) What I like about Orville was that it was TNG without our crew is perfect mandate Roddenberry added to it and Berman maintained. The crew of the Orville behaved like real people and there could be interior conflict. What surprised me was that the humor I associate with McFarlane’s animated work was not there. It was a more positive show than his animated shows.

  16. 7) ‘If Aragorn is destined for the throne….’ The clue is in the title of the volume.

  17. @Anne Marble: It seems easier to have a Chosen One if you’re a writer It’s actually much harder, because it’s so easy to avoid developing the character and just go “Yup, chosen one.”

  18. @Cliff: When I read the books the first time, I somehow had the idea that vague mentions of a prophecy of Durin’s return meant that his return was what was intended by the title “Return of the King.” Great disappointment when I learned it was just that Aragorn guy.

  19. Kit Harding wrote:

    It seems easier to have a Chosen One if you’re a writer It’s actually much harder, because it’s so easy to avoid developing the character and just go “Yup, chosen one.”

    Yup, that’s true. “Oh, look, she found the magical needle in the haystack. That’s because she’s the chosen one.” Oh. Yay.

    It’s harder to make them interesting, flawed, full-fledged, even messy characters who struggle against flaws to accomplish stuff. (Also, smart enough to use a magnet or trained mice with tiny metal detectors or whatever it takes to find the needly McGuffin…)

    I didn’t think I had written a Chosen One. But wait… One is destined to become the new Lord of Death — but that’s actually a good thing. He’s also a mess. (So are his edits, so I have to get to work on that…)

  20. Also keep in mind that the Chosen One trope is most likely easier to sell to agents, editors, and the almighty Sales Committee.

    Hmm. That might explain a few things about my lack of tradpub sales…though, damnit, the fantasy series does eventually throw up a Chosen One…and now I’m getting ready to write the next set of books in that world, wherein the Chosen One discovers that she’s fallen heir to a collapsing empire. Does she prop it up or gleefully assist the tottering old wreck into collapse?

    (Hint: the author leans toward the latter. But the characters may have differing opinions…)

  21. @Andrew – ha ha! To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure which of the three significant towers are being referred to by The Two Towers.

  22. 18) I’ve only read a little short fiction by Abercrombie, read about a hundred pages of the complete Wheel of Time Hugo edition before my Kobo died, and only read Robin Hobb when written as Megan Lindholm.

  23. 18) I have read half an Abercrombie novel before getting grimmed out, read three Wheel Of Time novels before dying of boredom, half of the first Ice and Fire novel, one Sanderson novel (Elantris), one Terry Pratchett novel, a tiny bit of Robin Hobb and the usual C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. I suddenly realize that I lack patience.

    But most of this stuff is in very late 20th epic fantasy. For example, I’ve read almost everything Le Guin has written. Doesn’t that count?

  24. “Two of these Towers belong together; two of these towers are titularly akin. But one of these towers isn’t worthy of the title. Which of these towers will not win? Let the game begin”

  25. (4) Panic mode indeed. I finished off the novels early enough, but put off everything else.

  26. A follow-up on a story that started sometime ago, You’ll remember that Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn and many other fine books, sued his Rat Bastard of a former manager because he stole lots of money from him.

    He won in court after an all too long a battle and got the rights to his back catalog back. He also got the rights to his name back which Rat Bastard had also stolen including his domain names of peterbeagle.com and peterbeagle.com. (He stated in Court he’d actually written the books Peter had written. I can’t use the language here that I’d like to use to describe that claim.) Well his lawyer emailed me this afternoon with the authorisation codes to transfer them to a new host and I did so. Don’t go look now as it’ll show the old sites for the next days or so as it takes that long to roll over to new locations.

    There won’t be any actual sites as they’ll be rolling over to the official site of beagleverse.com. It’s the fully authorised home for everything Beagle these days. Tachyon Books, his current publisher, runs it. It’s a very, very wonderful site.

    Drink something of your favorite beverage in celebration of this happening as it’s taken far too long to do so.

  27. Rollercoaster of a day.

    Blowout argument with the kiddo over breakfast. Internal team released a new change that impacts everyone with no warning. Stellar employee review.

    Can I please get off now? Or do I have to finish the ride?

  28. (18) you gotta be kidding me! Rothfuss as Sam?! Sam gets stuff done, he’s a worker. Rothfuss hasn’t written anything of importance in ten years.

    Rothfuss has only written a couple volumes in an incomplete series. He doesn’t belong among that august company. I will admit I didn’t care for Wheel of Time, but at least Jordan produced.

  29. @ Miles Carter. Counting rereads, I’ve spent more time reading Rothfuss than Jordan. Or all of the above except Pratchett actually.

    @ Rob Thorton

    But most of this stuff is in very late 20th epic fantasy. For example, I’ve read almost everything Le Guin has written. Doesn’t that count? <\quote>
    Well, they are using LOTR characters. Sticking with similar epic fantasy books makes sense.

  30. 18) My first reaction was how much of a sausage fest that image is.

    As someone who commented on my tweet about it said, they are just about only missing Steven Erikson in their list for the Bingo.

  31. (18) Typical. Robin Hobb is the Ursula Le Guin of fantasy–the one woman they include to show they aren’t biased. I’ve read all of these but I sure wouldn’t make this my list.

  32. My list would also include McKillip and McKinley and could argue strongly for Diana Wynne Jones; They’re among the reasons I write secondary world fantasy, along with Lewis (Who has been somewhat Suck-fairied, but I won’t deny the impact), Tolkien, and Pratchett (well, actually, Pratchett writes books I could not write, but I am grateful exist.) The only reason I don’t add Susan Cooper is that she wrote in what was meant to be our world for the most part, present or historical.

  33. The Orville isn’t trying to be a better Trek. It is is trying to be a light-hearted homage to Trek by someone who clearly loves the franchise. The fact that it is a better Trek than most Trek seems to be purely accidental. 🙂

    (It also starts a bit meh, and gets much better later, but that’s true of most actual Trek series as well. Also, it has plenty of flaws and a big dose of cheese, but, again, ditto Trek.)

    I’m not entirely sure, but I think the reason it succeeds is that it idealizes Trek, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. For some reason, at least for me, that combination just works brilliantly. If it were trying to be better than Trek, I suspect it would be awful.

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