Pixel Scroll 10/8/18 And We Are Her Sisters, And Her Cousins, And Her Ancillaries

(1) RECESS IS OVER. File 770 was down for approximately 7 hours today, for reasons never fully explained by customer support, except they were “actively working” on a server problem. Well, to quote Sam Gamgee, “I’m back.”

(2) WHO WATCHED. The Guardian has the numbers: “Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who debut is most watched launch for 10 years”.

Jodie Whittaker’s take on the Time Lord drew Doctor Who’s biggest series launch audience in more than a decade on Sunday night.

An average of 8.2m viewers watched Whittaker’s first outing as the Doctor, beating the ratings for political thriller sensation Bodyguard, which attracted 6.7m viewers when it debuted in August. With an audience share of 40.1%, Whittaker’s performance was the most-watched episode of the science fiction drama since the 2008 series.

The first female doctor bettered Matt Smith and David Tennant’s debut viewing figures of 7.7m and 8m respectively. While she drew a smaller audience than Christopher Eccleston’s first appearance, which was watched by 9.9m, he had the advantage of appearing in the show’s comeback episode in 2005.

(3) WHO LISTENED. But some claim the Doctor Who theme music has been defaced. “Yes,” says SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, “thought impossible but some consider true.”

The brand new theme for Doctor Who Series 11, composed by Segun Akinola, which premiered tonight during the closing credits of ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’

 

(4) IT’S ALREADY BEEN DONE! Alastair Reynolds apparently blazed the trail for Banksy“Artist shreds unique work of art”.

Alastair Reynolds destroys last english copy of his short-story “Pandora’s Box” at Finncon’09

 

(5) A VOLUNTEER FOR PICARD’S CREW. Wil Wheaton told a Baltimore Comic Con audience he’d say yes — “Star Trek: Wil Wheaton Wants to Return in New Picard Series” at Comicbook.

Of course, fans also want to know if he could appear as Wesley Crusher could appear in the new show. Wheaton says he thinks its unlikely he’ll be asked, but he’d definitely be up for it if asked.

“I think it is very unlikely they will ask me to participate in it,” Wheaton said. “I mean, I think it is just extraordinarily unlikely that will happen. If they did, I would say ‘yes,’ of course. I think all of us would say ‘yes.’ I think all of us if we were given the opportunity to put on the spacesuits again and go work together and bring those characters back, as they would be thirty years later, we would all say ‘yes.’ And I don’t think it’s because we want the work. I don’t think it’s because we need the money. I don’t think it’s because we don’t have other things to do. It’s because we love each other so much and an opportunity, even for a day, to return emotionally to some of the best times of our lives, I think that we would jump at that opportunity.”

(6) LONG LIST ANTHOLOGY. David Steffen’s Long List Anthology Volume 4 Kickstarter has fully funded, included the stretch goal — 204 backers pledged $4,754.

(7) BITE CLUB. Ron Charles in the Washington Post discusses how Fangoria, which died last year, has been revived “as a new quarterly journal with photos so high-gloss that the blood looks wet.”  But Charles notes many book reviews amid all the gory photos, as well as a short story by Chuck Pahlaniuk — “Fangoria, the fabled horror magazine, has risen from the dead”.

…There’s also a piece for die-hard fanatics about continuity problems among the various “Halloween” sequels and a true story about a young man in North Carolina who built a replica of the Myers house. “I have to carefully pick what I’m going to invest my time in,” he says without any apparent irony.

Handy advice abounds in these pages. Makeup artist Tate Steinsiek explains “how to slit your own throat,” and director Corin Hardy walks us through hideous visuals in his new movie “The Nun.” “Malignant Growths,” a piece about homemade horror films, should come with its own barf bag….

(8) RAH RAH RAH (RAH RAH).  In a piece for Tor.com, James Davis Nicoll says there are “Five Books That Improve Upon Heinlein’s Juveniles”. (How can that be possible?)

Nothing fills me with dread quite like a middle-aged male writer announcing that he plans to write a YA novel just like the ones Robert Heinlein used to write . I could explain why this is such a harbinger of disappointment…but Charles Stross has already beat me to it. Instead, allow me to offer some non-Heinlein novels that succeed in scratching some of the same itches that the RAH juvies once scratched. For me, that requires the intended audience to include teens, that the genre be science fiction in the narrow sense, that the protagonist be a young adult, and that they get to do something that actually matters in the course of the book .

(9) NYCC COSPLAY. Huffington Post’s photo gallery promises “Here Are The Best Costumes From 2018’s New York Comic Con”.

But aside from stars to see, artists to discover, and unique merchandise to buy, people go to Comic Con to see (and be seen in) costumes. There were probably as many people in costume as not this year, and as always it was a wonderful distraction when walking from one part of the convention center to another.

(10) NYCC PROGRAM VIDEOS. On the Penguin Random House YouTube channel you’ll find links to 12 full panels recorded at New York Comic Con. These include a Patrick Rothfuss panel, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Panel, A Night with Author Andy Weir (The Martian), “How Writers Build Authenticity Into Diverse Worlds Panel,” Patrick Rothfuss and R.A. Salvatore Discuss Epic Fantasy, “Disney-Lucasfilm Publishing: Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away,” The World of Lore with Aaron Mahnke Panel, “Disney-Lucasfilm Presents: A Celebration of Female Writers in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.”

 

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • Born October 8, 1916 – George Turner, Writer and Critic from Australia, who was a successful mainstream novelist but turned to writing SF fiction and criticism in his sixties. His novel Drowning Towers (also published as The Sea and Summer) was a near-future story about global warming and economic collapse, which won the Clarke Award and was a finalist for the Nebula, Campbell, and Ditmar Awards. His book In the Heart or In the Head: An Essay in Time Travel, a memoir in which he chronicles his chaotic growing-up in a family for whom fact and fantasy were equally acceptable and often indistinguishable, won the William J. Atheling Jr. Award and was a finalist for the Hugo for Best Nonfiction Book. He wrote a lot on the history of the genre, including John W. Campbell: Writer, Editor, Legend for an Australian symposium on Campbell in 1971. He was given an A. Bertram Chandler Award – Australia SFF fandom’s highest honor – and his other works, both SF and genre nonfiction, received many nominations and wins for Ditmar and Atheling Awards, all earned between the age of 60 and his death at age 80. He was to be Author Guest of Honor at Aussiecon 3, the 1999 Worldcon, but died prior to the convention. The interview “Judith Buckrich in Conversation with George Turner” can be found in SF Commentary #76.
  • Born October 8, 1920 – Frank Herbert, Writer well-known for his Dune series – the first of which won Hugo, Nebula, Seiun, and Locus Awards – which has been translated into more than a dozen languages and adapted to movies and videogames, including the Hugo-nominated version by David Lynch. Songs of Muad’Dib: Poems and Songs from Frank Herbert’s Dune was published posthumously, edited by his son Brian Herbert. Other work includes the ConSentiency universe novels, Under Pressure and Hellstrom’s Hive (which was awarded the Prix Apollo), and works in his Pandora and Jorj McKie universes. He was nominated for the 1956 Most Promising New Author Hugo, and was Author Guest of Honor at a number of conventions.
  • Born October 8, 1941 – Penny Frierson, 77, Writer, Editor, Conrunner, and Fan who chaired or co-chaired several conventions and Worldcon bids, and co-chaired the 1986 Worldcon. She was one of the founders of the Birmingham Science Fiction Club. She collaborated with her husband Meade in her fan writing; they were big H.P. Lovecraft fans, and their fanzines included Science Fiction on Radio, HPL, The HPL Tribute, The HPL Supplement, and the fannish play, Shattered Like a Clockwork Orange. She was a member of the APAs Myriad, RAPS, and SFPA, Guest of Honor at Coastcon in 1978, and in 1987 Southern Fandom recognized her with the Rebel Award.
  • Born October 8, 1943 – David Dvorkin, 75, Writer from England who emigrated to the U.S., and has written more than a dozen of his own speculative fiction novels, but is perhaps best known for three of the earliest novels written in the Star Trek Original Series and Next Generation universes for Pocket Books.
  • Born October 8, 1943 – R.L. Stine, 75, Writer, Editor, and Producer. Author of more than 300 novels, mostly young adult horror, most famously the Goosebumps series, which, along with some of his other works, has been made in TV series and videogames. He has written novelisations of the genre films Ghostbusters II and Spaceballs. He was recognized with a Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2013.
  • Born October 8, 1949 – Sigourney Weaver, 69, Oscar-nominated Screen and Stage Actor and Producer. Her most famous genre roles are in Hugo-winning movies the Alien series and the Star Trek homage Galaxy Quest, in addition to parts in both Hugo-nominated versions of Ghostbusters, Dave (an uncredited version of Robert Heinlein’s Double Star), the Hugo finalist Avatar and its upcoming sequels, The Village, Vamps, and Chappie. She has also provided voices for animated films including the Hugo-winning WALL-E, Happily N’Ever After, The Tale of Despereaux, and Finding Dory.
  • Born October 8, 1949 – Richard Hescox, 69, Artist and Illustrator who, between the years of 1976 and 1993, illustrated over 135 covers for genre books, but now works mostly in the games industry and for private commissions. He is also notable for producing advertising art for such movies as Escape from New York, Time Bandits, Swamp Thing, The Dark Crystal, The Neverending Story, and Conan the Barbarian. Some of his work has been gathered into two collections, The Fantasy Art of Richard Hescox and The Deceiving Eye: The Art of Richard Hescox, with text by Randy Dannenfelser. He has been nominated for a Chesley a half a dozen times, winning in 2003, named Artist Guest of Honor at numerous conventions, and received The Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist in 1991.
  • Born October 8, 1956 – Stephanie Zimbalist, 62, Writer and Actor of Stage and Screen. While she is best known for the lead in the TV series Remington Steele, she has appeared in more than 60 stage plays and as many TV series, with her most notable genre appearances being the films Jericho Fever and a Saturn Award-nominated role in The Awakening, the film version of Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars. She appeared in the 2006 documentary Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars, and also portrayed McAuliffe in the play Defying Gravity.
  • Born October 8, 1970 – Matt Damon, 48, Oscar-winning Writer, Actor, and Producer. His most famous genre roles involve having to be rescued in both the Hugo-winner The Martian and the Hugo finalist Interstellar. After starting his career with a role as an uncredited extra on the Hugo-nominated Field of Dreams, he later had parts in genre films The Adjustment Bureau (based on a Philip K. Dick story), The Brothers Grimm, Contagion, Elysium, The Zero Theorem, Downsizing, and he reprised his Dogma role playing Loki in a cameo in the Hugo-nominated Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Born October 8, 1979 – Kristanna Loken, 39, Actor and Producer, known to genre fans as the cyborg Terminatrix from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Her other genre appearances include the films Bloodrayne and In the Name of the King, and the TV series Mortal Kombat: Conquest and Painkiller Jane.

(12) HERBERT DAY. Steven H Silver finds a story to celebrate in a 1971 Analog – “Birthday Reviews: Frank Herbert’s ‘By the Book’” at Black Gate.

Originally published by John W. Campbell, Jr. in the October 1966 issue of Analog Science Fiction Science Fact, “By the Book” was reprinted in 1971 in The Worlds of Frank Herbert and again in The Best of Frank Herbert. It was also included in the Herbert collections Eye and The Collected Stories of Frank Herbert. The story was translated into Croatian in 1978 for inclusion in the Yugoslavian magazine Sirius and into French in 1987 for the Hebert collection Champ Mental.

(13) COMICS SECTION.

(14) LOCAL TALENT. In LA on October 11 — “Dana Gould – A reading of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space”. Here’s some names you don’t see all the time anymore.

Dana Gould presents A Live, Stage Reading of EdWood’s… Plan 9 from Outer Space

w/ Bobcat Goldthwait, David Koechner, Janet Varney , Laraine Newman, Kevin MacDonald, Dana Gould, Matt Braunger, Rob Zabrecky, Ron Lynch, Nate Mooney, DeborahBaker, Jr., Ken Daly, G CharlesWright, w/ Eban Schletter and other surprises!

(15) DADDY DATA? Variety reports — “TNT Orders Ridley Scott-Produced Sci-Fi Drama ‘Raised by Wolves’”.

TNT has given a straight-to-series order to a sci-fi drama project that hails from executive producer Ridley Scott.

Titled “Raised by Wolves,” the series centers on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task….

(16) SECOND NOVEL. Adri Joy has been looking forward to the continuation of this series – see “Microreview [Book]: The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera” at Nerds of a Feather.

…The Phoenix Empress pick up almost exactly where its predecessor leaves off, and while the “present” takes up more of the narrative in this volume, there’s still a substantial story-within-a-story as Shizuka fills Shefali in on the events that led to her becoming empress, not to mention developing an alcohol addiction and a severe phobia of water. Shefali has returned from her own travels even more changed, following events in that have led to her being contaminated by black blood but not succumbing to the usual progress of the illness, and now expects to die on her next birthday in four months’ time. A great deal of the book is therefore based on learning each others’ secrets and renewing their relationship, as well as working out what the wider implications of Shefali’s return are for the future of Hokkaro and the black- blood plague.

I suspect that the unusual structure of these novels is playing an important trope-subverting role as well as being a narrative choice….

(17) AGE BEFORE BEAUTY. Apparently D.B. Jackson couldn’t resist the challenge – at Whatever, “The Big Idea: D.B. Jackson”.

Anyone who has written a time travel novel knows that they can send an author ‘round the bend. Time travel is a plotting nightmare. It creates narrative holes big enough to accommodate a truck. It acts as a virtual eraser, a do-over generator, a distributor of endless mulligans. Even the most sound, well-considered plot point can be undermined by the simple question, “Well, why can’t one of our characters go back and prevent this?” Hermione Granger’s ill-advised flirtation with Time-Turners is just the tip of the iceberg. Time travel will make an author’s brain explode.

So, naturally, I have just published the first novel in a new time travel/epic fantasy series.

(18) PALACE INTRIGUE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Various sources are reporting that the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) has announced an intent to deorbit their Tiangong-2 (Celestial Palace 2) space laboratory during or after July 2019. You may recall that Tiangong-1 deorbited in an uncontrolled manner (though the Chinese claim otherwise) earlier this year. Fortunately,  the bits of Tiangong-1 that didn’t burn up on reentry happened to hit an unoccupied part of the Pacific Ocean. The plan for Tiangong-2 is to deliberately aim for such a spot.

Neither of the Celestial Palaces were intended to be permanent space stations, though China is planning a modular space station of a more permanent nature. Mooted dates for launching the various parts of that are currently 2020–2023.

(19) GOTHAM’S FIFTH. The trailer for the last season of Fox’s Gotham was played at the New York Comic Con.

(20) THE LAST GYRO. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] NASA has confirmed, via Twitter, that the Hubble Space Telescope has been put into “safe mode” following the failure of one of its gyroscopes (Space.com: “Hubble Space Telescope in ‘Safe Mode’ After Gyroscope Failure”). This leaves the iconic telescope with only two gyros operating, not enough to “ensure optimal efficiency” per the Hubble website. All six gyroscopes were last replaced during Servicing Mission 4 when Shuttle Atlantis visited in 2009 during mission STS-125. With the Shuttle fleet long retired now, further servicing is not an option.

Dr. Rachel Osten, Hubble Deputy Mission Head, has tweeted that the “[f]irst step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic.” If that fails, there was quick speculation that a change in operational mode may emerge, Dr. Grant Tremblay, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted:

*IF* the third [gyroscope] doesn’t spin back up, I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop to 1 gyro mode, keeping the second as reserve. @rachelosten might know, but I imagine it’s a stressful, difficult decision. Let’s just hope the brilliant people at @STScI can recover the third. Stress.

That plan was confirmed shortly after, when Dr Osten replied:

It’s not a difficult decision, @astrogrant: the plan has always been to drop to 1-gyro mode when two remain. There isn’t much difference between 2- and 1, and it buys lots of extra observing time. Which the Astro community wants desperately.

In fact, the gyroscope that just failed lasted “about six months longer” than had been anticipated. This failure is one more confirmation that the Hubble is nearing the end of it’s life, though it is clearly still doing good science.

(21) RED HAT. Mlex says he’d wear one –

(22) STYLE POINTS IF YOU STICK THE LANDING. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] There’s video of the first Vandenberg landing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 on The Verge (“SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on the California coast for the first time”). The video includes launch, side-by-side views of the second stage burn and the first stage return to Vandenberg, and more. If you want to skip ahead to the final landing  burn, that starts just after the 29 minute mark of the video when the stage is still over 4 km in altitude. This is a night landing, so the burns are spectacular, but overall visibility is limited. The split screen for the last few moments of the landing has video from the side of the stage (looking down) and from a ground camera viewing from a safe distance.

(23) EPISODE RECAP. Martin Morse Wooster says, “My local public television station is showing the New Zealand series The Brokenwood Mysteries.  Last night they showed an episode which appeared in the show’s third season and was broadcast in New Zealand in 2016.” —

The premise is that a sleazy tour operator is offering “Lord of the Ringz” tours to the Brokenwood forest for Chinese tourists.  They’re shown a crappy matte painting of mountains.  Guys with pointy ears do some swordplay. The climax of the tour is when a giant plush toy spider descends on a woman wrapped up in spider webbing–but the unplanned but is that the woman is dead, and the detectives then find out who killed her.

A German guy complains that he isn’t seeing anything from The Lord of the Rings, and is told, “Oh, in New Zealand we spell things creatively.”  In another scene, a lawyer explains that as long as the customers aren’t told they’re seeing things from The Lord of the Rings–and every sign, for some reason, isn’t spelled correctly!–then it’s legal.  “We could be showing scenes from some direct-to DVD film,” he said.

I hope this lawyer never deals with the Tolkien estate…

(24) SHADOW OF VADER. Chuck Wendig will write a five-issue miniseries for Marvel Star Wars:

Chuck Wendig on Darth Vader and his newly-announced series, Shadow of Vader: “Vader is a character with a long shadow, literally and figuratively. His legacy is deep and unpleasant.” The world will not be bereft of Darth Vader in their comics for long, as Wendig announced that he will be writing a miniseries called Shadow of Vader, beginning in November. Each issue will feature a different set of characters: Issue #1 is a Friday the 13th homage, with Vader hunting down kids at summer camp; issue #2 stars the one-and-only Willrow Hood; issue #3 centers on a morgue attendant on the Death Star; issue #4 diverges to focus on the Acolytes of the Beyond; issue #5 follows a New Republic pilot — whose parents were killed by Vader — who joins the Resistance only to learn that Leia’s father is the Sith Lord.

(25) AMERICAN GODS TRAILER. The second season of American Gods is on the way.

A storm is coming. American Gods returns to STARZ in 2019. Starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Yetide Badaki, Orlando Jones, Omid Abtahi, Mousa Kraish, and more.

 

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

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/8/18 And We Are Her Sisters, And Her Cousins, And Her Ancillaries

  1. 23) Yay Brokenwood! It’s like Midsomer Murders with better local wine and gender issues awareness. The fourth session has an episode based in a ‘historic village’ with over-enthusiastic cos-players I mean re-enactors.
    It’s always nice to see the cop shop being played by the old post office in the little town were my grandparents lived, and the bush-covered hills visible from my uncle’s old farm.

  2. Adding to the impressivness of Jody Whitaker’s debut, the ‘global simulcast’ was in the early afternoon in the US, competing directly against the NFL football games.

    ETA WOW! accidental fifth!

  3. (17) AGE BEFORE BEAUTY.

    I am utterly fascinated by the fact that they managed to get a blurb from Anne McCaffrey for this book.

  4. 3) Oh FFS. You want “defaced”, there is still nothing to match the theme music for ST:ENT, which said so loudly that this was Not Star Trek that I turned it off before it ever got into the episode.

  5. (11) My first year on the speech team, I did extemporaneous speech, which was fun, but then Dave joined the team the next year and since he typically won most of his matches, he got my spot, and I moved over to oral interpretation of humor. I had a cutting that was not only perfect in length (I didn’t have to cut it or add anything but an introduction), but it was punchy, off-the-wall, and a perfect opportunity to do voices. Best of all, nobody had ever heard of it. It was a piece called “The Sun Dial Dating Guide” from the OSU Sun Dial, their humor magazine, and it was authored by a student writer who signed himself “Jovial Bob Stine.”

    I don’t think I ever earned “hardware” with it, because I tended to do really well with two or three judges, but there was always one per meet who wouldn’t go for it, but I had a lot of fun delivering the piece. I felt warmly toward the writer, and was pleased to see his name on things like monster joke books for kids that I’d see at book stores.

    Then the “Goosebumps” thing started, and his career really took off. I never tried to keep up with his writing, but I can still quote most, if not all, of the Sun Dial Dating Guide.

  6. @11:

    Dave (an uncredited version of Robert Heinlein’s Double Star)

    ISTM that they’re both retakes of The Prisoner of Zenda, which is old enough that the lawyers (if they were even consulted) probably said it didn’t need to be acknowledged.

    @21: ooh, snap! I’ve seen bumper stickers saying “1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual”, but this is another level.

    @22: all I’m seeing after minute 29 is the payload deployment (no split screen) — is that my browser or is a different time or link needed?

  7. 25) — Coincidentally, I just started watching Season 1 of American Gods today. Ian McShane and Peter Stormare are so great! (Stormare is still the best Satan ever, so far as I’m concerned, from Constantine.) And I cracked up when Chloris Leachman came on. Verrrrrrry weird series, but I’m enjoying it so far.

  8. @Chip —

    @22: all I’m seeing after minute 29 is the payload deployment (no split screen) — is that my browser or is a different time or link needed?

    Start watching about minute 23.

  9. The Prisoner of Zenda, The Prince and the Pauper, The Man in the Iron Mask… And Kagemusha from Kurosawa was supposedly based on a real story from feudal Japan. If you go broader than just the replacing-a-ruler idea, you can include A Tale of Two Cities, and if your twins can be actual twins, then you get Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors and all the way back to Menaechmi from Plautus that The Comedy of Errors was based on.

  10. (3)

    But some claim the Doctor Who theme music has been defaced.

    Has any of these mooks heard of YouTube? There’s only about a million compilation videos of all the BBC intros and their variations to the series theme.

  11. I like the new Who theme music, except that the composer seems to want it to have a dance beat. In that, he is like basically everyone else who has ever tried to re-do it, so it’s not an uncommon failing.

    Delia Derbyshire has the unique distinction of being the only person ever to change the theme and actually improve on the original. I am assuming that the infamous “Delaware” version was not her idea.

    (Even Ron Grainer gave it a dance beat when he did his version, on “The Exciting Television Music of Ron Grainer”. Sigh.)

  12. I tried watching Doctor Who “live” as it were, but managed to have the starting time off by 15 minutes, so in the end, I fell back on BBC iPlayer. Which, on the whoile, was still a pleasant experience. I quite liked the pacing, and I think I may have spotted a few things that may recur through the series. And having it away from London was refreshing.

    I’ve also re-watched most of the first series of the Ninth Doctor (11 out of 13 episodes) and it’s better than my recollection said it was, watched essentially back-to-back.

  13. (11) George Turner was born in 1916 thus allowing him to die at the age of 80 before 1999. Drowning Towers was also published as The Sea and Summer because that is its original title.

  14. It is kind of depressing how I always find the good short films one year too late to nominate.

  15. JJ: Regarding #17, The McCaffrey blurb is likely for his first novel Thieftaker (published in 2012, so it isn’t completely implausible that McCaffrey was able to blurb it in 2011 before her passing.). I can’t imagine either Tor or Angry Robot would have falsely used McCaffrey’s name.

  16. @Contrarius: thanks for the pointer. (@OGH: “29” looks like a typo for “23”.) Impressive.

    @BigelowT: I hadn’t even thought of The Prince and the Pauper, probably because I’d read somewhere of the Zenda/Star link (plausible because they’re both about emergency impersonation to replace someone missing). Pauper is more plausible by plot because both are about someone setting up their own impostor so they can go out and play. I wonder whether anyone on the creative team for Dave cited something as an influence, rather than something that had been pointed out to them later (cf Avatar being called out for similarities to “Call Me Joe”).

    geek question: how should tags work? I wanted to go back to the Space Forces article, but found that putting “Slaughter” or “Carl Slaughter” in the Search box at the very top of the page got me only a scattering of items — the two newest were 4 and 14 months old. (Searching on “space force” worked.) When I found the item, clicking on the “Carl Slaughter” link got several more-recent posts. Should the search function find all tagged items?

  17. @Joe —

    JJ: Regarding #17, The McCaffrey blurb is likely for his first novel Thieftaker

    Speaking of which, I pretty much enjoyed Thieftaker — for those not familiar, it’s an American Revolution-era urban fantasy complete with Sam Adams and company as characters, the MC being a magic-using “thieftaker” (early version of PI). Too bad that I generally avoid time-travel tales, or I might give his new book a try.

  18. Chip Hitchcock: how should tags work? I wanted to go back to the Space Forces article, but found that putting “Slaughter” or “Carl Slaughter” in the Search box at the very top of the page got me only a scattering of items — the two newest were 4 and 14 months old.

    I’ve found that targeted Google searches work far better than the WordPress internal search.

    “space force” “slaughter” site:file770.com

  19. 4) About a generation back William Gibson had a limited edition story on computer disc. It could only be read once. Makes you wonder if the story was any good, considering the manner it was issued.

  20. JJ is right. Using the site:file770.com tag in Google or Bing is much better than homegrown search.

    Here’s a tip for something I use: Since putting up a YouTube link eats attention and resources, I check to see if it’s been posted before so as not to be wasteful. The search ‘site:file770.com KNC3_ToEEH4’ comes back dry, so I know this wonderful song has never before been posted here. At least, not this copy of it:

  21. The McCaffrey blurb seems to be for the novel Children Of Amarid, published in 1997 under his original (?) name.

  22. A group of fans from Ft. Collins drove down to Denver for the Larimer Square “Preview” showing of MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (MØNTI PYTHØN IK DEN HØLIE GRÄILEN), where we each got a coconut. My ticket stub also won me “The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” which bore a warning on the record label: “WARNING: THIS RECORD CAN ONLY BE PLAYED ONCE.”

    Just to be on the safe side, I taped it the first time I listened. You never know. I still had the coconut as late as 1978 or 1979, but it was not at all a well coconut, and it eventually imploded on itself, forming a very weak hole of a darkish color that hung around long enough to be boring and then faded out before anyone thought of taking a picture of it.

  23. @Robert Whittaker Sirigano
    That was a poem, “Agrippa (A Book of the Dead)”, not a story. I read a leaked copy of the text online and, as I remember, I liked it.

    Wikipedia

  24. Hampus, I have to ask… are the Monty Python and the Holy Grail title cards still hilarious if you’re Swedish?

    (…A Møøse once bit my Pixel…)

  25. Yep, they are even more hilarious. It gets the added humour of seeing your own country appearing in a weird context with mysterious spelling.

  26. Hm, I always thought the title cards were Norwegian, rather than Swedish. But I suspect Norwegians 9and probably Danes) would claim it’s Swedish. So on the balance…

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