Pixel Scroll 10/9/20 Green Scroll The Pixels O!

(1) A REAL STEMWINDER. BBC America’s Pratchett-inspired series The Watch was teased during today’s virtual New York Comic Con.

Welcome to Ankh-Morpork. Expect dragon sightings. ‘The Watch’, an all-new series inspired by characters created by Sir Terry Pratchett and starring Richard Dormer as Vimes and Lara Rossi as Lady Sybil Ramkin, premieres January 2021 on BBC America.

(2) DOOMED TO REPEAT. K. Tempest Bradford lists year-by-year the harassment, accessibility, and programming diversity issues that have stalked World Fantasy Con since 2011. She then comments at length about her interactions with the 2020 committee in “World Fantasy, the Convention That Keeps On Failing”. In winding up a detailed 6000-word post Bradford says:

I want people to realize how serious, deep-seated, and currently intractable WFC’s problems are, both with this convention and with the organization as a whole. I want people to understand that this org has been given chance after chance, great piece of advice after great piece of advice, and example after example of how to do well, and this still happened. It is time to stop giving benefits of the doubt, or worrying over the social consequences of speaking up, speaking out, removing yourself from programming, or tossing your membership altogether.

What has kept WFC going all these years is the continued attendance of all those vaunted professionals [2020 chair] Ginny [Smith] mentioned. Luminaries that include writers and editors and agents and publishers. Even as con-goers (mostly women) were harassed without consequence, and people with disabilities were made to feel unwanted or as if they were a burden to accommodate, and as an environment of oppression and bigotry against BIPOC flourished, many people still paid several hundred dollars to attend and be on panels and give readings and network.

But they were gonna change it from the inside, doncha know!

(3) IN COMMUNITY. Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, a Slovenian-born writer and translator currently living in Maine, guests on Sarah Gailey’s Pesonal Canons series with “Personal Canons: Dinotopia”.

…Dinotopia is one of the few books I have read in both Slovenian and English, a fact which speaks to the level of popularity it enjoyed at the peak of the dinosaur renaissance in the early nineties. Like so many other beloved children’s books, Dinotopia is essentially a portal fantasy, in disguise as the journal of Arthur Denison, a scientist from Boston, who is shipwrecked with his twelve-year-old son William in 1862. Rescued by dolphins and delivered to the uncharted continent of Dinotopia, the two are gradually integrated into a society in which dinosaurs live side-by-side with humans.

Classic portal fantasies—Narnia foremost among them—often take the form of white saviour narratives. Dinotopia averts this trope from the start. Gurney’s lavish illustrations spend as much time on minor details of Dinotopian society as they do on the Denisons. Nor are our protagonists especially privileged by virtue of their status as “dolphinbacks”: when Will declares he wants to become a Skybax (pterosaur) rider, his newcomer status is neither boon nor hinderance. He’s warned that no dolphinback has ever been one; then he’s given a course of study, a route by which he might achieve his dream. There are no shortcuts here. It takes a few timeskips to get him to his goal, and when he gets there, when he and his Dinotopian friend Sylvia ask the instructor Oolu for permission to fly as full-fledged Skybax riders, Oolu replies, referring to their pterosaur partners: ‘You don’t need my permission: you have theirs.’

(4) CONGRATULATIONS. [Item by Dann.] Rebecca F. Kuang is graduating from Oxford with distinction.

(5) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites everyone to cross the pond for pappardelle with Priya Sharma in Episode 129 of his Eating the Fantastic podcast.

Priya Sharma

Priya Sharma has published fiction in InterzoneBlack StaticNightmareThe Dark, and other venues. “Fabulous Beasts” was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist and won a British Fantasy Award for Short Fiction. “Ormeshadow,” her first novella, won a Shirley Jackson Award. All the Fabulous Beasts, a collection of some of her work, won both the Shirley Jackson Award and British Fantasy Award. She’s also a Grand Judge for the Aeon Award, an annual writing competition run by Albedo One, Ireland’s magazine of the Fantastic.

We discussed the best decision she made about her debut short story collection All the Fabulous Beasts, how the cover to that book conveys a different message in our COVID-19 world, why we each destroyed much of our early writing, a surprising revelation about the changed ending to one of her stories, who told her as a child “your soul is cracked,” the two of us being both longhand writers and defenders of ambiguity, what it’s like writing (and not writing) for theme anthologies, the most difficult story for her to write, how the pandemic has affected our writing, and much more.

(6) ALAN MOORE SPEAKS. A rare Garbo-like sighting. Tom Grater, in the Deadline story “Alan Moore Gives Rare Interview: ‘Watchmen’ Creator Talks New Project ‘The Show’, How Superhero Movies Have ‘Blighted Culture’ & Why He Wants Nothing To Do With Comics”, says that Moore, promoting his new film The Show, says that he doesn’t care about comics anymore, and the last superhero movie he saw was Tim Burton’s Batman, but he is enjoying calling his grandchildren and reading stories to them.

DEADLINE: You said you feel responsible for how comics have changed, why?

MOORE: It was largely my work that attracted an adult audience, it was the way that was commercialized by the comics industry, there were tons of headlines saying that comics had ‘grown up’. But other than a couple of particular individual comics they really hadn’t.

This thing happened with graphic novels in the 1980s. People wanted to carry on reading comics as they always had, and they could now do it in public and still feel sophisticated because they weren’t reading a children’s comic, it wasn’t seen as subnormal. You didn’t get the huge advances in adult comic books that I was thinking we might have. As witnessed by the endless superhero films…

(7) CHOPPED. The seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture of “Medusa With The Head of Perseus” being installed across the street from 100 Centre St., Manhattan’s criminal courthouse this weekend has been called a commentary on the #MeToo movement (see image here).

Many have tweeted support for the idea. Courtney Milan, however, has voiced a strong dissent. Thread starts here.

(8) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.

1975 — Forty-five years ago, the first World Fantasy Award for Best Novel went to Patricia A. McKillip for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. It was published by Atheneum Books in 1974 with the cover art by Peter Schaumann. It was her second novel after The House on Parchment Street and was nominated also for a Mythopoeic Society Award but it went to A Midsummer Tempest by Poul Anderson.  Thirty-three years later, she would garner a much deserved World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. 

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born October 9, 1863 – Elaine Eastman.  Superintendent of Indian Education for the Two Dakotas.  Married Dr. Charles Eastman, a Santee Sioux, first American Indian to graduate from medical school and become a physician; with him Wigwam Evenings, Sioux folktales; eight other books by him, a dozen by her.  Her collected poems, The Voice at Eve.  Her memoir Sister to the Sioux published posthumously.  (Died 1953) [JH]
  • Born October 9, 1900 – Harry Bates.  First editor of Astounding.  Under a different name, with D.W. Hall, a novel and five shorter stories of adventurer Hawk Carse; eight more stories with DWH; ten more under HB’s name and others.  Not one but two stories in the great Healy-McComas Adventures in Time & Space.  “Farewell to the Master” unsurpassed.  (Died 1981) [JH]
  • Born October 9, 1935 – Celia Correas de Zapata, 85.  Directed the 1976 Conference of Inter-American Women Writers, one of the earliest.  Edited Short Stories by Latin American Women: the Magic and the Real (2003), also pioneering.  Professor of literature at San Jose State U.  [JH]
  • Born October 9, 1937 – Margo Herr.  Fifty covers for us.  Here is Can You Feel Anything When I Do This?  Here is Analog 9.  Here is Down Here in the Dream Quarter.  Here is Shadows of Doom.  Much more outside our field; Website here.  (Died 2005) [JH]
  • Born October 9, 1948 Ciaran Carson. Northern Ireland-born poet and novelist who is here, genre-wise at least, for his translation of the early Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, which he called simply The Táin. I’m also going to single him out for penning the finest book ever written on Irish traditional music, Last Night’s Fun: About Time, Food and Music. It’s every bit as interesting as Iain Banks’ Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram is. (Died 2018.) (CE) 
  • Born October 9, 1952 – Steven Popkes, 68.  Four novels, forty-five shorter stories.  In Caliban Landing humans arrive on a planet, start mapping, told from the viewpoint of a female alien there.  [JH]
  • Born October 9, 1953 Tony Shalhoub, 67. Two great genre roles, the first being Jack Jeebs in Men In Black, the second being I think much more nuanced one, Fred Kwan in Galaxy Quest. Actually, he’s done three great genre roles as he voiced Master Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. (CE)
  • Born October 9, 1956 Robert Reed, 64. Extremely prolific short story writer with at least two hundred tales so far. And a number of novels as well, such as the superb Marrow series. I see a won a Hugo at Nippon 2007 for his “A Billion Eves” novella. And he was nominated for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer as well. (CE) 
  • Born October 9, 1961 Matt Wagner, 59. The Grendel Tales and Batman / Grendel Are very good as is Grendel vs. The Shadow stories he did a few years back. His run on Madame Xanadu was amazing too. Oh, and I’d suggest both issues of House of Mystery Halloween Annual thathe did for some appropriate Halloween reading. (CE) 
  • Born October 9, 1964 Jacqueline Carey, 56. Author of the long-running mildly BDSM-centered Kushiel’s Legacy Universe which also includes the Moirin Trilogy. (Multiple Green Man reviewers used this phraseology in their approving reviews.) Locus in their December 2002 issue did an interview with her called “Jacqueline Carey: Existential BDSM”.  She did several stand-alone novels including the intriguingly entitled Miranda and Caliban. (CE)
  • Born October 9, 1964 Guillermo del Toro, 56. Best films? HellboyHellboy II and Pan’s Labyrinth which won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form at Nippon 2007. Hellboy II is watchable over and over just for the Goblin’s Market sequence.  Worst films? The Hobbit films. (CE)
  • Born October 9, 1976 – William Alexander, 44.  Six novels, sixteen shorter stories.  Interviewed in Lightspeed.  He calls this in Strange Horizons about Le Guin’s Earthsea a revisionist history.  [JH]

(10) SHH! IT’S A SECRET! Let 13th Dimension tell you about “The Goofy Charm of 1950’s ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN”.

Atom Man vs. Superman opens with a series of robberies that are plaguing Metropolis. It is, of course, the work of Lex Luthor, who threatens to destroy a nearby bridge if he and his gang don’t receive all the money from the Metropolis Trust Company. He turns a destruction ray on the bridge, but luckily Superman arrives to keep it in place while police rescue some stranded motorists. The Man of Steel then finds Luthor, arrests him, and the arch-criminal is sent off to jail. A year later, everyone is perplexed by a second crime wave, since Luthor is in solitary confinement!

What they don’t know is, Luthor has created a machine that can teleport people short distances, activated by small coins pressed by the user (which sound like the Looney Tunes music starting up). He has been “beaming” in and out of his jail cell, back to his hideout, where he has been masterminding his gang and their numerous robberies.

(11) AND IN THE DARKNESS. Admittedly this story’s from The Sun, but anyway:  “Lord of the Rings TV series slammed for ‘trying to rip off Game of Thrones’ with nudity and sex scenes”. (Incidentally, Stephen Colbert also devoted a couple minutes of his show to the item.)

THE Lord of the Rings TV series has been slammed by fans for ‘trying to rip off Game of Thrones’ with nudity and sex scenes.

Amazon’s new version of the fantasy saga is set to tell the story of Middle Earth before the events of the three Lord of the Rings films.

And according to TheOneRing.net a casting call has been put out for New Zealand-based actors who are “comfortable with nudity.”

The news followers earlier reports that an intimacy coordinator had been brought onto the production team.

Fans of JRR Tolkien’s stories have been quick to express their dismay at the prospect of nudity in the much-loved fantasy stories.

Twitter user Autumn Fox wrote: “Something I’ve always loved about Tolkien is that he portrayed love as containing infinite permutations, none of which depended on sex to be compelling and interesting.”

(12) MINI LTUE. The Life, The Universe, and Everything crew will run a free virtual mini-event on October 10 from 6-9 p.m. MDT. Full information here.

Life, The Universe, and Just a Few Things features all the things you love about LTUE in a mini one-night event. There will be 3 streams running side-by-side for 3 hours, giving you 9 great events to choose from, including panels, presentations, and more! Simply head to our website on the 10th and click the stream you want to join. We will also soon have a Discord for further discussions with attendees. We look forward to having you with us!

(13) BRADBURY’S MARS. Phil Nichols will present “Artsfest Online: Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles at Seventy” on November 10.

…In this illustrated lecture, Phil Nichols recounts the history of The Martian Chronicles, and shows how this short-story collection masquerading as a novel has constantly evolved with our changing times. He considers the long shadow the book has cast over television, radio and film science fiction, and shows how Bradbury’s unscientific book has nevertheless inspired several generations of real-life scientists and astronauts.

(14) FLAME ON. Some Jeopardy! contestants obviously need to sign up for Phil Nichols’ classes. Andrew Porter watched tonight’s panel stumble over the last, Bradbury-themed hurdle. Only the returning champion got it right.

Final Jeopardy: Books of the 1950s.

Answer: A special edition of this 1953 novel came with an asbestos binding.

Wrong questions: What is “Invisible Man?” “What is Brave New World?”

Correct question: “What is Fahrenheit 451?”

(15) SHARP CLAUS. Fatman is coming December 4. Maybe you’ll be lucky and theaters will still be closed when this movie gets released. (Although it looks like Walton Goggins is playing another character of the type he did on Justified, so that could be interesting.)

To save his declining business, Chris Cringle (Mel Gibson), also known as Santa Claus, is forced into a partnership with the U.S. military. Making matters worse, Chris gets locked into a deadly battle of wits against a highly skilled assassin (Walton Goggins), hired by a precocious 12-year-old after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. ‘Tis the season for Fatman to get even, in the action-comedy that keeps on giving.

(16) KNOT JUST A MODERN PHENOMENON. “The grim reality behind sea-serpents of old”. Nature relates these research highlights – 

‘Sea serpents’ spotted around Great Britain and Ireland in the nineteenth century were probably whales and other marine animals ensnared in fishing gear — long before the advent of the plastic equipment usually blamed for such entanglements.

The snaring of sea creatures in fishing equipment is often considered a modern phenomenon, because the hemp and cotton ropes used in the past degraded more quickly than their plastic counterparts. But Robert France at Dalhousie University in Truro, Canada, identified 51 probable entanglements near Great Britain and Ireland dating as far back as 1809.

France analysed 214 accounts of ‘unidentified marine objects’ from the early nineteenth century to 2000, looking for observations of a monster that had impressive length, a series of humps protruding above the sea surface and a fast, undulating movement through the water. France says that such accounts describe not sea serpents but whales, basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) or other marine animals trailing fishing gear such as buoys or other floats.

Such first-hand accounts could help researchers to construct a better picture of historical populations of marine species and the pressures they faced, France says.

(17) NOT THE LAND OF 10,000 LAKES, BUT A FEW AT LEAST. Will The Martian Chronicles be followed by the Martian barnacles? All that water must mean something. Nature is keeping tally: “Three buried lakes detected on Mars.”.

Two years ago, planetary scientists reported the discovery of a large saltwater lake under the ice at Mars’s south pole, a finding that was met with excitement and some scepticism. Now, researchers have confirmed the presence of that lake — and found three more.

This adds to the possible detection of a polar subsurface  lake in 2018, covered at the time by SF2 Concatenation.

(18) INDUCTOR PROGRESS. [Item by Jonathan Cowie.] Nature tells how “Inductors enter the world of quantum magnets” [PDF file]. This may seem a little esoteric for Filers but actually it is quite important.

Inductors are coils of wire that impede changes in current and they are key components of electrical circuits. The problem is that their effectiveness is proportional to their cross-sectional area (size) and this is a pain if the goal is to miniaturise.

Researchers have now managed to create inductance using magnetic moments (spins) in a magnet to create a quantum mechanical inductor or an emergent inductor. In addition to reducing their size – which has obvious integrated circuit benefits – this new inductor can quickly switch between positive and negative which normal inductors cannot.

However, there is one big problem.  These new inductors need to be super cool. Yet if this can be solved then there will be a revolution in electronics.

(19) DUST TO DUST. [Item by Jonathan Cowie.] Nature reports the latest ideas about “Early onset of planetary formation” [PDF file].

Several very young stars (only around a million years old) that still have their surrounding dust cloud, have been seen to have planetary formation as the protoplanets sweep out a circular path in the dust about the young star.

It is thought that planets from by dust, clumping into pebbles, then into boulders and so build their way up into planets.

However modelling this process and it seems to take too long.

This problem may have been solved by astronomers who have now seen patterns in a condensing dust cloud that is in the process of becoming a star.  These patterns are rings that could indicate the presence of an orbiting protoplanet.  The key thing is that this star is so young that it has not yet even properly got going.  This means that planet formation may begin even before the star properly ignites (starts fusion).

(20) EARTHSHOT PRIZE. Vanity Fair shares a glimpse as “Prince William Previews His TED Talk: ‘The Shared Goals For Our Generation Are Clear’”.

Prince William has recorded his first TED talk, an 18-minute speech—recorded at Windsor Castle— discussing climate change and his vision of the Earthshot Prize, the ambitious initiative he announced yesterday. The TED Talk will air on Saturday as part of the Countdown Global Launch, the first-ever free TED conference that will be available on YouTube.

The Duke joins a number of high profile people for the event devoted to climate change, including Pope Francis, Al Gore, Chris Hemsworth, Jaden Smith, Jane Fonda, Christiana Figueres, and Don Cheadle.. In the preview clip William says, “The shared goals for our generation are clear — together we must protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world and fix our climate. And we must strive to do all of this in a decade. If we achieve these goals, by 2030 our lives won’t be worse and we won’t have to sacrifice everything we enjoy. Instead, the way we live will be healthier, cleaner, smarter and better for all of us.”

(21) VIDEO OF THE DAY. John King Tarpinian says, “If nothing else the closing credits are worth it.” Ray Bradbury’s The Homecoming” Ben Wickey’s 2016 CalArts Film.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Michael Toman, JJ, Dann, John Hertz, Rich Lynch, Mike Kennedy, N., SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

38 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/9/20 Green Scroll The Pixels O!

  1. 7) as a Work of art, I like it, because it does subvert the narrative of that story. Also see women being called and portrayed as monsters and how authors like, say, Headley, working in and against that tradition.

  2. Paul Weimer: Courtney Milan likes it as a work of art, too — I wouldn’t want that to get lost in my quoting her opposition to where the art is being displayed.

  3. (9) Tony Shalhoub also provides some of the better moments in the (to me) very disappointing Stephen King adaptation 1408, where he’s the long-suffering literary agent for John Cusack’s ghost-debunker character. It’s a minor role but he’s perfect.

  4. Mike Glyer says Courtney Milan likes it as a work of art, too — I wouldn’t want that to get lost in my quoting her opposition to where the art is being displayed.

    I’d be curious Just how long ago the decision to temporarily place it there was made (it’s only there until spring of next year). The MeToo movement is a relatively recent phenomenon in a widespread sense so it may not be a reaction at all to that movement. Not all things are connected even when they appear to be.

    Now playing: Cris Williamson’s “Murder of Crows”

  5. (7) that might not be the ideal location, but the people complaining don’t seem to have any suggestions for a better place for it.
    It’s an excellent work of art.

  6. P J Evans says that might not be the ideal location, but the people complaining don’t seem to have any suggestions for a better place for it.
    It’s an excellent work of art.

    It reminds of the controversy when the statue of Fearless Girl appeared opposite The Charging Bull on Wall Street. The statue provoked controversy but those of liberal vent defended it being there. Both statues have since been moved, The Charging Bull against the wishes of its artist.

    And indeed it’s a great piece of art. Google the back story as it’s fascinating.

    Now playing: First Edition‘s “Just Dropped In…”

  7. (15) a. This trailer is much better if, when you watch it, all you know is that Walton Goggins and Mel Gibson are in a new movie. And then you slowly come to realize what the movie is about . . .
    b. Walton Goggins, in the right role, is a force of nature. But every year that hairline moves farther back, and the transplant is more obvious.

  8. The fairest hour that e’er I spent
    I spent among the Filers, o

    9) In honor of del Toro’s birthday, I just finished watching Crimson Peak, which isn’t his best (that’s probably Pan’s Labyrinth, or maybe Devil’s Backbone or Shape of Water), but which is probably my favorite.

    AFAIK, he doesn’t share any of the blame for the Hobbit movies as they currently exist.

  9. bill: This trailer is much better if, when you watch it, all you know is that Walton Goggins and Mel Gibson are in a new movie.

    As it turns out, yes. After a first glance at the blurb I almost didn’t look at the trailer, but decided that if somebody thought it was good enough to send the link I should. They were right. It could be sold more effectively.

  10. Joe H. says AFAIK, he doesn’t share any of the blame for the Hobbit movies as they currently exist.

    I’m blaming everyone involved and he was one of the screenwriters. I consider them a collectively bad idea.

  11. 9). One of my favorite Tony Shalhoub genre roles was Senator Red Wheatus in the very underrated series “BrainDead.”

  12. 9): An oops on Harry Bates. He was born in 1900, not 1920. It would have been astounding if Clayton had put a ten-year-old kid in charge of a magazine.

  13. Well, at any rate, del Toro can’t be blamed for the three-film bloat, as it was only two films (a more reasonable 4+ hours) while he was working on it.

  14. OK, yeah, I didn’t realize del Toro had screen credit on the Hobbit films so yes, at least some blame, although not as much as PJ & company.

  15. 9) I still hold out hope for a proper film adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, del Toro or not – but Richard Stanley need not apply.

    15) I’d be more interested in Goggins playing another character of the type he did on Sons of Anarchy. But I won’t watch a Mel Gibson movie.

    17) Move that one of the lakes be named Vlad.

  16. (2) DOOMED TO REPEAT. Ginny informs me that “We are the very FIRST convention this committee has ever hosted… All of our committee are enthusiastic and energetic, but only a couple have any experience at all.”

    Um… what?

    Bruce Farr, Michael J. Walsh, Mike Willmoth, Jannie Shea, Terry Fong, Logan Kearsley, Dave Doering, Jayrod Garrett, Pamela Oberg, Joe Monson, Michael Harmon…

    Does Smith think that we’re all so stupid we can’t look at the committee member list and recognize that this is a complete falsehood???

    I can see what a lot of these people do have in common — but it’s not a lack of experience running SFF conventions.

  17. (2) In the end, though, it’s just a convention. There are much larger issues that urgently need to be solved, including the widespread lack of interest in becoming enlightened.

  18. @7
    Our heritage is our problem. We have a violent past, reflected in our myths and stories. Our ancestors did have some eerily on point ideas about the nature of reality, centuries before evidence or scientific methods, but there’s so much violence too. I feel like we can’t move forward until we repudiate that aspect of conflict resolution. I mean, defunding the police is one aspect of that. Surely domestic violence should be addressed with social non-violence. Surely the result of #metoo should be a reduction of force and coercion, an increase in acceptance of rejection and respect for boundaries, an examination of our expectations about interpersonal relations, a soul-searching by our menfolk, perhaps. Mutual consideration and sympathy.

    I mean, assault must stop, but tit for tat won’t result in a better world for anyone. It seems to only engender more grievance.

    Maybe more humane means and methods of incarceration and a normalizing penal code might reduce violence and recidivism.

    Maybe I’m too sensitive to symbols. Statuary is starting to make me tetchy.

    @8
    Reed has been almost incredible for decades, hundreds of stories, all quite good, most of them as good as anything I have read. Impossible to pick a favorite. I hope someone publishes an ebook of his collected short fiction. All of it.

    @andrew (not werdna)
    “The ice” is my favorite story about cloning.

    I so enjoy slice of future life stories. They date, but while they are fresh, they are probably my favorite sub-genre.

  19. Another comment re 7): I don’t understand the complaint about how accusations of sexual misconduct “ruins men’s lives.” Aren’t the guys who are committing this stuff ruining women’s lives? To the guys, I say, “If accusation of sexual misconduct (in general) or rape (in extreme particular) will ruin your life, don’t do any of it. Ever.” Or, as was put by someone, probably a century or two ago, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

  20. 11) It’s not necessarily Game of Thrones this is being taken from. A fair number of HBO shows seem to have used the premise that a lot of nudity in the early episodes helps bring in an audience.

  21. @Cat: “opposite The Charging Bull on Wall Street …. Both statues have since been moved, The Charging Bull against the wishes of its artist”

    That bull is connected with what’s probably the most genre-like scene I ever saw in real life that wasn’t a serious trauma. In the late ’90s I was working in an office at the bottom of Broadway (which, if you don’t know, is a relatively small street at that point with not much around but office buildings); the bull was directly opposite the front door. One day I went out for lunch and realized too late that Broadway was full of a massive tickertape parade in honor of the NY Yankees – totally packed, so I took a side street over to Greenwich and found food somewhere over there. On the way back I could tell that the parade was over, no more crowd noise, but something else seemed weird and there was a lot of funny smoke. I walked back up the side street and found that Broadway was now:

    silent and devoid of any sign of life as far as the eye could see
    with a few clouds of weird smoke drifting above
    and big lumps of melted plastic here and there on the sidewalk
    and the Charging Bull still there, watching over it all.

    What happened apparently was that after the crowd had moved on, the heaps of confetti that had been thrown all over the street caught fire. It burned out quickly, but long enough to melt the plastic bins of free weekly papers and ad supplements. Everything else in that area is stone and metal and concrete, so it was a relatively small amount of actual danger for such an apocalyptic image. And the bull was like “eh, not my problem.”

  22. Tony Shaloub also had a memorable role in the SF film Gattaca as German, a DNA broker who sells false identities to the genetically disadvantaged. I’m a big fan of that film, which was one of the Best Dramatic Presentation nominees in 1998 along with Men in Black, Starship Troopers and the winner Contact.

  23. (7) I think it’s that thing called metaphor, and it’s not expected to be 100% exact. So, no, sorry, I disagree. As a permanent installation in that spot, yeah, maybe too much. As a temporary installation? Excellent choice.

    (11) I’m pretty sure I don’t think nudity would improve Lord of the Rings, but I’m even more sure Game of Thrones doesn’t have any trademark on on-screen nudity, and can’t really claim to have broken much ground here.

    (15) Mel Gibson, Santa, partnership with the US military. Nope.

    Had more, but there’s a thrumming in my ear, and I’m tired.

  24. Lis Riba says The Mary Sue has reactions to The Watch trailer from Neil Gaiman & Rhianna Pratchett

    Ok I haven’t read The Watch novels yet, where should I start? Regardless of how faithful or more likely unfaithful the BBC adaption is, it did pique my interest in the original work.

  25. Oh no! Very sorry to hear about Chris Meadows, and hoping for the best outcomes there may be. I have a lot of good will toward him, and want to have lots more in years to come.

  26. @Jeanne

    I don’t understand the complaint about how accusations of sexual misconduct “ruins men’s lives.”

    It’s because people who say that automatically assume the women are liars and the men are innocent.

    In reality, the percentage of false rape/sexual assault accusations is about 5% (per Snopes) and between 2-10% (per the National Sexual Violence Resource Center). Either way, 9 out of 10 accusations have a good chance of being true (and I would say an even higher chance if there’s a consistent pattern of accusations over years or decades, a la Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein).

  27. Bonnie McDaniel says In reality, the percentage of false rape/sexual assault accusations is about 5% (per Snopes) and between 2-10% (per the National Sexual Violence Resource Center). Either way, 9 out of 10 accusations have a good chance of being true (and I would say an even higher chance if there’s a consistent pattern of accusations over years or decades, a la Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein).

    I’d guess that the false accusations in cases where there’s multiple accusers is statistically zero. Cosby and Weinstein are sexual predators. Both should never see the outside of a jail cell ever.

  28. @Cat Eldridge,
    “Guards! Guards!” is the first of the Watch sub-series of Discworld novels. IMO that is where you should start.

    L-Space has an excellent Discworld reading order guide if you don’t want to go in straight publication order, given there are several sub-series within the greater whole.

  29. Soon Lee says “Guards! Guards!” is the first of the Watch sub-series of Discworld novels. IMO that is where you should start.

    Thanks much, it was available on Audible, so I added it to my To Be Listened To list there as the narrator is quite excellent. Being confined to home has given me a lot more listening time as I’m not doing any work in coffeehouses these days, nor am I out wandering.

  30. 11) The one bit of nudity I remember from the Lord of the Rings is Frodo being found naked by Sam in the tower of Cirith Ungol. I don’t at all recall what Peter Jackson did about that scene, I don’t think the Bakshi movie made it that far, and I never saw the Rankin-Bass Return of the King.

    Otherwise, there is a lot of implied Sam/Rosie sex, but nothing actually shown.

  31. 11passim) There’s also Tim Benzedrine exhorting the hobbits to go naked rather than wear Barrow-clothes while he finds them something healthier to put on.

  32. (15) this looks hysterical; definitely going to see it! An embittered misanthropic Santa Claus fighting off assassins and working with the military is the role Mel Gibson was born to play.

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