Pixel Scroll 10/3 The Red Scroll of Westmarch

(1) Harry Potter fans taking the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London have been trying to “free” Dobby the house elf by leaving socks beside his display case.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lucious Malfoy is tricked into freeing Dobby by handing him a sock. (A house elf can only be freed from its service if its master gives it a gift of clothing.)

(2) James H. Burns recounts a memory of 1973, about the Mets clinching the pennant, and his 6th grade teacher, in the Long Island Press.

(3) Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post says, “Don’t worry. Matt Damon won’t get stuck on Mars. NASA can’t get him there”. He explains why it’s highly unlikely that NASA will lead an expedition to Mars in the next 25 years. Two key points: we don’t have a rocket, and NASA has no plans to develop a Martian lander.

(4) A collection of Vince Clarke’s fanwriting, assembled by David Langford, is a free download on the TAFF Ebooks page. More details and the list of contents here.

Vince Clarke Treasury cover

Mike Moorcock approves: “Glad the Vince Clarke book’s out. I mention Vince quite a lot in The Woods of Arcady. Sequel to W.Swarm … As I say in the book, Vince was something of a mentor to me and really helped me. Great bloke.”

(5) Patrick May reviews Dark Orbit:

“Dark Orbit” by Carolyn Ives Gilman tells the story of Saraswati “Sara” Callicot, a researcher who spends her life traveling via lightbeam, and Thora Lassiter, a member of an elite caste who was involved in an uprising of the women on the planet Orem against a male-dominated, Sharia-like government.

(6) Cedar Sanderson’s “A List of Books for Big Girls” at Mad Genius Club, while recommending characters, is also a built-in set of book and story recommendations.

Character! That’s what we want. And inspiring heroes, and damsels who can’t be bothered to be distressed, and the men who respect them… You’ll find all that and more in the list of books below.

I want to thank everyone who helped with suggestions for the lists. I’m not including all of the titles that were given to me, some because I wasn’t looking for YA, and some because I was emphasizing character rather than other features. You will find that I’m listing the books by character name, rather than individual books, as many of these are series. Some of the comments in the list are from the people who gave the recommendations to me (I’ve anonymized the lists since they were collected in private groups). 

(7) I’m always a sucker for those internet list posts and get hooked into clicking through a whole series of pages by sites trying to maximize their ad exposure. I rarely post those here.

An exception I can recommend in the Scroll is complete on one page: “My Favorite Movie Endings of All Time”.

(8) I bet she’s right —

(9) Can’t get it out of my mind. Iphinome’s lyrical comment on File 770.

We built this concom, we built this concom on pixel scroll.

Say you don’t scroll me, or pixelize my face,
Say you can’t lose Hugos with any grace.
Knee deep in the hoopla, sinking in your fight,
Too many puppies, yapping in the night.

Glyer posts a roundup, givin’ us the pixel scroll
Don’t you remember?
We built this concom
We built this concom on pixel scroll.

(10) Larry Correia explains in the beginning of his “Fisking the New York Times’ Modern Man”

See, I have two sons. As a father, it is my duty to point out really stupid shit, so they can avoid becoming goony hipster douche balloons. So boys, this Fisk was written for you.

His target is Brian Lombardi’s “27 Ways to Be a Modern Man”, which is sort of wryly serious and so lends itself to Correia’s mockery.

SELF-HELP

Even the header is wrong. This article is the opposite of self-help. This is like the instruction guide for how to live life as a sex-free eunuch.  …

  1. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

Most real men have whatever flooring their wife wanted when they built their house, because we don’t care, because we’re working all day so don’t get to stand on it much. Or they have whatever flooring came with the house when they moved in, and eventually when they can afford to they’ll put in whatever flooring their wife wants, because they don’t care. Some men do care, and they can put in whatever floor they feel like. Good for them. All of those men think this reporter is a douche.

I don’t even know what a Kenneth Cole is. I’m not sure what an oxford is, but from the context I believe it is a type of shoe. As a man who usually wears size 15 Danner boots, this is my Not Impressed Face.

(11) This Day in Non-Science-Fictional History

Debuted on this date in 1961, the first successful TV-show-within-a-TV-show, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” When Carl Reiner created and starred in the pilot that preceded the hit show, it was not a success. Casting Dick was the one major change that propelled the show into a five-season successful run on CBS.

Also –

In 1955, the children’s TV show Captain Kangaroo with Bob Keeshan in the title role was broadcast for the first time.

(12) Marc Zicree delivers a quick tour of the Science Fiction Exhibit at the LA County Fair — complete with Rod Serling, Jurassic Park, the Back to the Future DeLorean and HAL 9000.

[Thanks to Will R., Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

254 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/3 The Red Scroll of Westmarch

  1. @Cally

    “:wait until the Evil Big Orange Ladybugs show up. They’re an import from somewhere in Asia. And they BITE. I felt so betrayed….”

    Oh no!! Please don’t tell the hub. He’ll have the gutters running in DDT! Wait. What do these EBOLs eat?

  2. The Leckie short explains about Breq’s icon, among other things

    I thought ancillaries did not remember their previous life?

  3. Anna, this isn’t a previous life of the person who later became One Esk 19. This is One Esk 19’s life after Justice of Toren was destroyed. I assume this was where Breq picked up not only the icons but also all her money.

  4. a friend was done with them: Matter and Surface Detail. I prefer reading a series in order, but that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, claims one takes place in 1887 (HUH?!) and another in 2970. That’s far apart!

    Read Surface Detail first. (In fact, read just about any other Culture book before Matter.) You’ll get more of a sense of the Culture, and it’s a more interesting story. That quote from Banks in the wikipedia Matter article? I don’t know what happened between quote and publication, but it’s as far away from a description of Matter as it’s possible to get.

    But that’s not really so far apart – Culture humans live a long time and Minds live even longer, so something that happened a thousand years back still counts as recent events.

  5. JJ wrote:

    because I’ve chosen to live in a really big city (more than 1.5million people in the metro area), I have access to the books in dozens of branches within the library system, and when I request them online they all get delivered to my local branch for free.

    One doesn’t need to live in a big city for this kind of service. I live in a town of about 45,000, but our library is part of a consortium with a lot of other local towns, and I can request books from any of those libraries, or walk into those other towns’ libraries and check books out with my card. The library system also includes a couple of college libraries, from which I can request books but I don’t know whether I could enter their buildings without a student ID. Massachusetts has several regional library groupings like this, and for books that aren’t in my extended system, I can request them (for free) through the Massachusetts “virtual catalog”.
    The best service I’ve ever gotten was when I requested a collection of Pratchett short fiction, published only in the UK. I requested it through the normal channels, got email a few days later saying that it wasn’t available, and then a week or two later got another message telling me to come and pick it up. Someone (person or computer, I never found out which) had located a copy for me and gotten it through interlibrary loan from the library in a small town in Iowa that I had never heard of. When I returned it (over the desk, because it had a piece of paper attached telling me not to put into into the usual return slot), two of the librarians started negotiating between themselves to decide which of them got to read it first, before it had to be sent back to Iowa

  6. junego: the evil orange biting asian ladybugs, when they’re not FEASTING ON HUMAN FLESH typically eat aphids, like their non-biting smaller red American native cousins.
    Oh, and they like to move into people’s houses in the fall. Tell your husband to sleep well…..

  7. Cally on October 5, 2015 at 11:48 am said:

    Oh, and they like to move into people’s houses in the fall. Tell your husband to sleep well…..

    That’s what vacuum cleaners are for.

  8. ULTRAGOTHA: When they’re smooshed, the pheremones released call more of them. Isn’t that special?

  9. Cally: IIRC, also true of several other types of bugs – noteably wasps. And ants leave trails so other ants can check out where they went unless you wash. Bugs are annoyingly good at this hive/group living effect. It’s like they evolved for it. 😛

  10. and, most importantly, kill the spider for you no matter how big it is.

    How many years did it take for someone to figure out this joke? It was staring us all in the face the entire time.

    Loving the LotR jokes in this thread. An unexpected late-thread delight.

  11. @Rev Bob: I didn’t even notice the contradictions. In fact, I’m sort of taking your word for it that they’re there. It was things like the much-discussed buying shoes point and other silly random details that turned me off. It *did* occur to me, even as I was reading, that it might be intended as a pick list—pick and choose the ones you like—but even that didn’t seem to help, as so many of the items seemed banal and pointless, if not borderline offensive. “The modern man eats a potato.” “The modern man offers a condescending compliment to his ‘little woman.'”

    Maybe my problem is that I grew up in Berkeley and work in Silicon Valley, so my idea of a “modern man” is already pretty far out there. 🙂

    And maybe it works as a response to that Playboy piece you keep mentioning, but I haven’t read that, and there was no hint that it was a response to anything. If it was really intended as a celebration of the diversity of modern man, though, it seemed to be sadly lacking in diversity. Where was “the modern man wears a dress to a heavy metal show”? Or the blindingly-obvious: “the modern man stays home with the kids while the wife goes to work.” Instead, we get “the modern man doesn’t cut the fat off his steak.” I actually facepalmed at that one.

    But, de gustibus, eh? It worked for you; it didn’t work for me.

  12. Morris Keesan on October 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm said:

    When there’s a book that I want to reread, and that I know I own a copy of, I’m more likely to borrow it from the library than to read my own copy, because I’m more likely to be able to find it at the library

    .
    Shortly before you wrote this, I was digging out my old copy of Brave New World to save my friend Keith from doing exactly this. And reminded myself of several books that need rereading in the process.

  13. The Correia piece made me wonder, like all manly man I go to my office job wearing practical footwear and like Correia I’m a fan of Danner Boots. Now I’m generally satisfied with the Tachyon ARC-670, but I’d like something more informal for fridays.. anyone got experience with their Bull Run line? I wasn’t satisfied with their Canteen law-enforcement sneakers, and I’m not sure I want to put down $100+ for the BR’s.

    Note: Not looking for anything fancy with foreign names, just some salt-of-the-earth stompers!

  14. @Xtifr:

    I’m not referencing one particular piece printed in Playboy, but the company’s entire “voice” going back over 50 years. As a trivial example, the (in)famous Playboy Clubs were completely designed to reinforce and cater to that target audience. They review high-end gadgets and clothes to reinforce the idea that these are what their audience buys and wears. You could thumb through any issue and see at least half a dozen examples of this perspective in action.

    The “Playboy man” idea is literally something so central to that company and magazine that I don’t know how to show it to you. It’s kind of like hearing someone say that they’re unfamiliar with the NRA’s “piece” on gun-rights advocacy; where do you start? Everything they do positively drips with it, and they’ve been around for decades.

    Thus, I’m not saying the “27 Ways” article is a response to a specific article. I’m saying it responds to the entire concept of manliness, that there is One True Way to be a Real Man, and that it does so by demolishing that concept with a series of simple images that are independently evocative, while gaining new depth in relation to each other.

    I can easily imagine men doing any of the listed things; I cannot imagine the same man doing all of them. That’s the conflict, and that’s the point.

    It’s perfectly fine not to like the article – de gustibus, indeed – but the claim that it is nonsense goes beyond that to become an assertion of fact that I hold is unwarranted and untrue. I’m not asking (or telling) you to like or agree with the “27 Ways” piece, merely to see that it is not nonsense.

  15. @Cally

    ” the evil orange biting asian ladybugs, when they’re not FEASTING ON HUMAN FLESH typically eat aphids, like their non-biting smaller red American native cousins.
    Oh, and they like to move into people’s houses in the fall. Tell your husband to sleep well…..”

    OKayyyyyy. Today I’m one of the internet 10,000.

    I thought you were kidding. Boy was I wrong! Luckily we live in SoCal. With our mild winters hibernating in houses is, apparently, very rare around here. Whew! We’ve probably bought some of these things as natural pest control.

    Oh boy! I’m gonna tell him all about the human flesh eating and nesting in the house (but hold off explaining why we’re safe until he’s getting ready to head out for bug killer)…bwahahaha!

  16. To be somewhat fair, it’s not that they go after human flesh by preference; it’s just that they’ve very bitey in self-defense. Or what they think might possibly be self-defense. I don’t *think* that mammals play a significant part in their food choices…..

  17. JJ & Morris Keesan,
    Me, I relocated from Jackson, MS (172,638) to Houston, TX (2,196,000 (not counting MSA which is 6,622,047). Talk about culture shock…
    Anyway, I’ve fallen in love, love I tell you, with the Houston library system. Huge selection. A friendly and reasonable ILL process and librarians. Ebooks I can check out for the Kindle. Online videos for me and the kiddo.
    Which is a huge difference from Jackson where there weren’t very many new books, I swear the selection was getting smaller and no real online presence. The ILL librarian and I were on a first name basis though.
    Between that and abusing alumni privileges at the local college, I got by.

  18. Morris Keesan: The library system also includes a couple of college libraries, from which I can request books but I don’t know whether I could enter their buildings without a student ID.

    Speaking from (lots and lots of) experience with university and college libraries, odds are you can, and you might even be able to check books out on your public library card (and then return them to your own public library). The latter depends on the kind of reciprocal borrowing agreement in place, and that varies, but letting the general public into a university library is actually a fairly common town-and-gown accommodation. They might make you show ID and sign in, and possibly limit general access during Finals week, or something, but that’s about it.

    The worst university library I for Keeping People OUT that I ever used was the University of Chicago’s Regenstein. They had a fairly complex procedure for signing people into the place, which was a nuisance (I seem to remember a physical search that would have made airport security proud, both in and out), and they had a reciprocal borrowing agreement with absolutely no one local (they probably did send books out on ILL, just by Special Request Only or something), but even they let people in to look at and use the books . . .

  19. @Hypnotosov
    These are my boots of choice: https://stompersboots.com/boot-brands/corcoran-boots/product/15-corcoran-10-black-leather-side-zip-lug-sole-toe-cap-jump-boots-985

    I think I’ve been wearing those or something very similar, from Corcoran, for the past 15-20 years. I’m not sure about that, though. My memory is horrible. I really dig the zippers. Makes them very simple.

    I’m thinking of getting these, though (my current pair is wearing out, and it’s about time to start thinking about a replacement):
    https://stompersboots.com/boot-brands/corcoran-boots/product/436-corcoran-10-black-leather-tanker-boots-5407

    Because I’ve wanted a pair of those since I was 15.

    ETA: the links go to Stompers, which is my “local” boot shop, in the SoMa neighborhood in San Francisco.

  20. @Cally

    “To be somewhat fair, it’s not that they go after human flesh by preference; it’s just that they’ve very bitey in self-defense. Or what they think might possibly be self-defense. I don’t *think* that mammals play a significant part in their food choices…..”

    But there’s no fun in telling the hub those kinds of details. He just needs to know about the human flesh biting part…at first.

  21. I wear size 15 shoes. Try to contain your envy.

    My father wore size-5 – as 9-inch boots (usually Justins) when he was working. He ended up buying shoes in the boys’ section after he retired; it was the only place he could find ones that fit. Some of us wear pony shoes….

  22. Hello, Bravo Lima Poppa! I also have been favorably impressed by the Houston library system. Though I came here from Berkeley, so it was less culture shock and more “of course anywhere civilized has libraries.”

    Comics brackets going up later tonight, with luck. Oh, Kyra…borrowing your dice was OK, wasn’t it?

  23. David Goldfarb, Oh, Kyra…borrowing your dice was OK, wasn’t it?

    Did you use long tongs and asbestos gloves? And maybe a lead apron…?

  24. David Goldfarb on October 5, 2015 at 7:18 pm said:
    Hello, Bravo Lima Poppa! I also have been favorably impressed by the Houston library system. Though I came here from Berkeley, so it was less culture shock and more “of course anywhere civilized has libraries.”

    Comics brackets going up later tonight, with luck. Oh, Kyra…borrowing your dice was OK, wasn’t it?

    You do understand that they need to be… fed.

  25. I’ve had a request for the File770 hivemind’s list of LGBTQ fiction. Can anyone point me to that? I think someone consolidated the list on their own blog.

  26. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

    I got my Ancillary Mercy download 2 whole hours early!! Yippeeee!! Reading!!!

    Uhm…excuse me, I’ll be in consultation (or something) for a while. Try me again in the morning.

  27. I’ve had a request for the File770 hivemind’s list of LGBTQ fiction. Can anyone point me to that? I think someone consolidated the list on their own blog.

    We need a page with links to all the various lists Filers have created

  28. I don’t know where the hivemind’s LGBTQ list is, but The Traitor Baru Cormorant might belong somewhere in its general vicinity.

  29. I wound up reading the two Leckie shorts last night, and they were good. Not great, but good! Confusing monk names helped replace confusing pronouns from the books, heh, so that’s nice. I don’t recall enough about the icon from the book, but I think I recall just enough that the two-part story fits neatly into place in my mind, in terms of Breq’s background.

    @Kyra: ROFL about the Eowyn bit!

    @IanP: Excellent! Thanks for the feedback about Gibson’s books. Oddly, iTunes doesn’t have his latest, but Kobo has it DRM-free. 🙂

    @IanP, Jamoche, Mister Dalliard, & anyone I’m forgetting: Thanks for the comments about Banks and where to start. Very helpful! A lot of folks seem to like Banks, so I want to give him a fair shake, when I get time for him. I’m making a note to start with The Player of Games when the time comes.

  30. > “I’ve had a request for the File770 hivemind’s list of LGBTQ fiction. Can anyone point me to that? I think someone consolidated the list on their own blog.”

    I don’t know about the hivemind’s LGBTQ list, but my personal list of favorite Lesbian romance SFF (so, mostly L, but also containing some B(f), and some T) can be found here:

    http://kyrademon.livejournal.com/75556.html

    On a more complete LGBTQ list, I’d have also included such things as the Bold as Love series by Gwyneth Jones (bi/poly, although it takes a couple books to get there, as I recall), Vellum and Ink by Hal Duncan (G), the Micah Grey series by Laura Lam (Intersex & B), etc.

    Also bear in mind it’s a curated list of stuff I like, not a complete list of everything, so it doesn’t include works I didn’t much care for, even if many other people did (like Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi), or works I haven’t read yet (like Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear).

    The list is also mostly or entirely looking at main characters rather than side characters, so it also doesn’t include many works where secondary characters have lesbian romance plots, such as Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy series or Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy, among many others.

  31. > “I thought Adijan and her Genie was sweet.”

    Since L-J Baker has written one of my very favoritest books and a number of others I liked a great deal, if you tell me I need to revisit that one, you’re probably not going to have to twist my arm very hard.

  32. @JJ: Lambda Sci-fi (a Washington, DC area GLBT F/SF/H club) has a “recommended reading list” of “science fiction, fantasy, and horror that deal positively with themes of alternative sexuality or feminism” here (they’re not necessarily romance):

    http://www.lambdascifi.org/books/index.html
    (Note: this is a paged list; look for the ‘next’ link at the bottom.)

    Keep in mind that while it’s an “official” rec list, this simply means “one or more members rec’d X and the list maintainer got around to adding it.” It doesn’t mean there’s any consensus. There is some info on each book listed, so hopefully that helps.

    There’s also “a list of Other Books of Note recommended by non-members” here (the difference being, non-member rec’s…so, again, not some kind of mass or consensus rec):

    http://www.lambdascifi.org/books/booknote.html

    I’m not sure when someone last rec’d something to add, so while I haven’t looked over it in a long time, I suspect there’s a lot of older work and a dearth of newer items. (I may be wrong!)

    Since it sounds like Kyra’s list is heavier on the L, I could rec things from my library more on the G/B(m) side. 😉 Some may be on the above LSF lists. I probably won’t have time to do this soon, though, sorry – which is part of why I’m linking to the LSF lists.

  33. I’m trying to remember what the discussion was when the subject came up… Not all of the rec lists got saved in a convenient fashion. I keep meaning to do something about that.

  34. Meredith: I’m trying to remember what the discussion was when the subject came up… Not all of the rec lists got saved in a convenient fashion. I keep meaning to do something about that.

    Thanks all. I found the File770 discussion threads on June 23 and June 24 by doing a Google search for Kyra’s URL, because she had posted it here.

    Thanks for the extra suggestions, Kendall.

  35. @Kyra I freely admit that some people might find it too sappy sweet. All I can say is, it hit the spot just when I needed to smile.

  36. Leaving aside erotic romance, here are some GLBT books I personally recommend, mostly with gay/bi male protaganists. Although (typing the list) I’m running across some gay/bi women I’d forgotten about, which is kinda nifty. 😉

    @JJ: I don’t know what you’re looking for (for whoever asked you), but I figured maybe some personal recs would help versus the more impersonal Lambda Sci-Fi list. These are all books I own and (to varying degrees) recommend. Kyra covered the lesbian/bi side, I figured maybe it wouldn’t hurt for me to cover some books on the gay/bi male side. I’m editing this to remove a few items that are really quite minor in terms of GLBT characters, realizing I was perhaps pushing it (Tales of the Otori, Black Magician trilogy, Marla Mason series, Love Minus Eighty).

    @Mike Glyer: Sorry this is so long. OMG. I hope you don’t mind. (cringe)

    Shadowdance by Robin Wayne Bailey – fantasy; I read it a long time ago, so while I remember liking it, I don’t remember much specific except the basic plot, which you can find elsewhere, of course.

    Queeroes by Steven Bereznai – an okay high-school-kids-develop-superpowers book; over-the-top characters (almost cartoonish) and plot, and some gruesome bits; a few of the powers were interesting, and I did read the whole thing. I bought the sequel, but don’t know yet if it’s any good. Heh, I’m not really selling this, am I. . . . Most books on this list are high on my list of books I like, but there are so few gay superhero books, I wanted to include this one.

    Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman – a great, short novel with ghosts, good characters, the right combination of spooky-in-parts plus humor-in-other-parts. I guess technically a YAish gay protaganist; I’m not into YA but I loved this novel, so of course I don’t consider it YA, LOL. In fairness, I don’t believe it was originally marketed as YA.

    Various Darkover novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley – various books have major or minor GLBT characters (usually bi/lesbian women, but a couple of the big ones have gay men). These are classics in the genre, despite anything.

    Mainline by Deborah Christian – SF with psi powers. Why do I check the remainder section of bookstores every time I’m in? Because I found this awesome novel there. Seriously, I keep hoping to run across some remaindered gem. Bi (IIRC) main character, which lemme tell you blew me away with shock when I read it, not expecting this random remainder book to speak to me. Supposedly a quasi-sequel is in the works, but who knows if/when it’ll ever actually be published. I keep meaning to re-read this (hoping it’s as good as I remember).

    “Winged Assassin” trilogy by Catherine Cooke – great fantasy trilogy with gay/bi characters; may be a bit challenging for some (IIRC, initially under-real-world-age sex, plus some quasi-/non-consensual). I’m bad at picking sub-genres, so I’m not sure if this is high fantasy or what it should be called. Another set I keep thinking of re-reading.

    “Tale of the Five” series by Diane Duane – great fantasy series with a very cool world and interesting magic; two types of magic and one of them, only women can use – but a man is born with the gift. Only 3 of 4 books done and probably the 4th won’t see the ligh of day, however IMHO it ends in a good place, so (other than the “want more” feeling after any good series) you won’t feel frustrating by how it ends, IMHO. In this world, essentially, everyone’s bi. People have relationships with people; there is literally no “X is Y sexuality.” I loved that aspect. Duane simply brushes aside conventional sexuality and writes an awesome story, and IMHO it works quite well. Epic fantasy? High? Something? It focuses on a small set of people, but big things happen in the world. @Meredith: Here be dragons; book 2 has a lot of dragon-centric stuff, in fact – you go inside a dragon’s mind, essentially! 😉

    “Nightrunner” series by Lynn Flewelling – high fantasy and the first couple of books are some of my favorites. GLB characters galore; the main character is a bi man. We have intrigue, war, sneaking around, evil magic, and lots more (even minor dragon appearances in the third book). Another series in this world is the Tamir Triad (which I, blush, have only read the first book of!).

    Commitment Hour by James Alan Gardner – an odd SF book with a race of people who change genders back and forth until they hit adulthood (or around there), then they choose their gender. Weird, interesting concept. It’s okay – not my favorite book, but it has some interesting stuff in it.

    “Blood” and “Smoke” series by Tany Huff – GLB characters (Blood books: gay male vampire & other GLB characters; Smoke books: gay man main protag, et al.) – great horror with the right amount of humor, relationship drama, and other fun stuff. I’m not into horror, but I loved these, so if you’re not into horror . . . give them a shot!

    The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff – gay and bi male main characters, plus a feisty, very young female main character. This is an old favorite of mine. 🙂 Well, really, Huff’s just one of my fave authors. 😉

    “Last Herald-Mage” series by Mercedes Lackey – Still one of my faves and IMHO it held up well in audio re-“read” . . . though it’s perhaps a bit marmite (I think a lot of folks think the main protag’s whiney but IMHO this fits, and he does change over the course of the series). Cool world/magic, too.

    “Doctrine of the Labyrinths” series by Sarah Monette – I love these books! While she does go between first and third person, it didn’t bother me like it did for Hearn’s books. One of the protags is a gay man. I think Monette did an awesome job with the main characters’ voices. Weird stuff in there.

    Hero by Perry Moore – one of the few superhero books! I guess it’s a bit YA, but didn’t really feel very YA to me. Gay male main character. Great book, and I enjoyed the audiobook, too (okay, I probably enjoyed the audiobook of many of these, as well as originally reading the books).

    “Psycop” series (and other books) by Jordan Castillo Price – okay, I’ll break my “no erotic romance” stuff ‘cuz these are really more dark urban fantasy with a bit of horror; yeah, there’s gay sex in them, but they have strong plots, great characters, and weird stuff happens! The protag is a powerful psychic cop – so powerful he’s addicted to drugs that help him suppress his “gift” (which he wouldn’t call a gift…). I highly recommend this series, if you’re okay with explicit sex. Price self-publishes, but her writing is strong, production values are great, and she’s done some great covers. Most of her stuff is SF, horror, or fantasy, usually with gay/bi male main characters (and sex; did I mention there’s usually sex?).

  37. Kendall: I don’t know what you’re looking for (for whoever asked you), but I figured maybe some personal recs would help versus the more impersonal

    It’s for an SFF reading list to which a number of people are contributing, using personal knowledge and a bunch of sources. I, being het and woefully clueless about what constitutes good LGBQT fiction (I love sex, but personally don’t care for it to be more than alluded to in my SFF books, since if I’m not the one getting laid, I really don’t want to watch it or read about it), was hoping to contribute by soliciting recommendations from well-SFF-read people who know whereof they speak. So thank you, and thank you Kyra, and thank you to everyone else who’s provided recommendations in those June threads.

  38. @Kendall: “there are so few gay superhero books, I wanted to include this one.”

    Well, here’s another LGBT super for you: Jack Wallen’s Shero series (three books). I got the first book through StoryBundle, and have read the first couple of chapters. The blurb refers to the main character as “transgendered,” but so far the depiction is kind of mushy. “Shero” (aka Chris) uses male pronouns, his crimefighting partner refers to him as “a man who fights in evening wear,” and the narration calls him “transgendered” and “straight cross-dressing” as if they’re interchangeable – so I’m a little leery at this point. It’s early yet, though, and it is an indie book. I can’t help thinking that an LGBT-conscious editor would have tightened the terminology a bit more, but I can forgive some sloppy wording in the service of a decent story.

    The concept looks interesting enough, if somewhat stock aside from the humor and the issues arising from Shero’s gender presentation. A superhero gets framed, doesn’t know who to trust, and has to team up with an enemy to clear his name. There are three books out so far, as well as a compilation, and I like the concept enough to bookmark the sequels but not enough to buy them before I finish the first book and see how I feel about it. At $1.99 each on Amazon, it’s not exactly a huge financial risk.

  39. Kendall on October 4, 2015 at 7:31 pm said:
    Another book question (sorry, weird topic, I know ? ): Anyone read Gary Gibson? I have his first in the TBR mountain, and was just reading about his latest, Extinction Game, which intrigues me! Last-man-on-earth survivor is saved and put onto a team with other survivors of their own alternate earths, training to retrieve stuff from other apocalyptic alternate earths.

    I believe it just came out, although Amazon calling it a “reprint edition” confuses me. Anyone heard about it, read it, etc.? And/or just in general, have good or bad or meh things to say about Gibson’s books, why, etc.?

    (apologies for the necro!)

    I’ve read his Shoal trilogy and Final Days, and I enjoyed them overall. With both stories I think it took him a while to find his footing, the first 100 pages of both are a bit messy and I found them hard to get through. With the Shoal trilogy that’s not so much of a problem because you have about 700 more pages after them, and the plot of the series moves quickly enough and has some interesting twists. A few of the plot lines in the last book are fairly obviously telegraphed, but I didn’t mind that so much as it was a fun read overall.

    But with Final Days there was only 250 pages or so after the story righted itself. Sadly most of the weird time travel predestination stuff that attracted me to the book was in that first 100 pages, so I’m gonna reread it in a year or two and see if I like it better then.

  40. Books with LGBT characters

    Kindred Spirits (1984)
    An Anthology of Gay and Lesbian Science Fiction edited by Jeffrey M Elliot

    Chia Black Dragon series by Stephen Marley
    1. Spirit Mirror (1988)
    2. Mortal Mask (1991)
    3. Shadow Sisters (1993)

    I lucked upon the former while doing an internet search trying to find the Stephen Morley books.

  41. Kendall: a nitpick: Doctrine of Labyrinths doesn’t switch between first and third, but between two (and later more) first person voices. otherwise, an excellent series – though dark and in potential need of trigger warnings.

    Another G/B author (so far, though she’s expressed interest in adding at least L to that), is Leona Carver. Her first book, Piper, starts with a great premise but falls apart at the very end. Her second, No ocean too Deep, does much better, plus some excellent ocean settings.

  42. @Lenora: “Doctrine of Labyrinths doesn’t switch between first and third, but between two (and later more) first person voices. otherwise, an excellent series – though dark and in potential need of trigger warnings.”

    Sounds like the book I’m editing. There’s one event in it that the reader gets to see through three different perspectives, all overlapping but none really complete on its own. The villain, victim, and rescuer each get a chapter, and a fourth person narrates the aftermath.

    I think romances – including erotica – lend themselves to a multiple-first structure very well. Reading signals and having doubts about what the other person is thinking just seems naturally suited to multiple-first narration instead of some brand of third-person.

  43. @Lauowolf:

    You do understand that they need to be… fed.

    To paraphrase James Nicoll: your tears are delicious to them.

  44. @Lorcan Nagle: Thanks for the reply; I don’t mind necro since I only got a couple of replies. 😉

    @Titinaus: Argh, I forgot to mention Kindred Spirits and … there was another GLBT F/SF anthology back in the day, too. Shoot, this will bug me.

    @Lenora Rose: Whoops, sorry – it’s been a while, so I misremembered one of the main characters as being third person. (blush) First person flipping doesn’t bother me (it’s not uncommon in M/M fiction), especially when they have such unique voices like Felix and Mildmay!

    @Rev. Bob: Agreed re. romance/erotica lending itself to multiple first.

  45. I forgot to say:

    @JJ: Based on that (no sex), the only one I’d drop off my rec list then is Jordan Castillo Price. Any of the others that may have a spicy moment or two aren’t explicit sex (I don’t count kissing or people going into a room with a fade to black before it really gets interesting, which one sees in plenty of novels). I hope that makes sense.

    @Rev. Bob: “Shero” sounds . . . confusing to me. 😉 Or perhaps written by a confused author.

  46. @Kendall: (confusing Shero)

    I do know that some people stretch “transgender” to include crossdressing, but it’s a comparatively rare usage. More commonly, “trans” (with or without asterisk) serves as the umbrella term and “transgender” is one of the aspects of that.

    However, I also know that terminology has been changing pretty swiftly – or, at least, that’s how it looks from my vantage point in Cislandia – and the book was written seven years ago. With that in mind, I’m inclined to be more forgiving of terminology that looks clunky in 2015. For instance, Eddie Izzard had no qualms about calling himself a transvestite on stage, but these days it’s seen as a negative term, if not an outright slur. Different times.

    To bring this back to SFnal territory, I’ll be trying to read this with industrial-strength disbelief suspenders and similar “different cultural norm” filters as the ones I use for a good deal of classic SF. Criticizing older works for not conforming to modern ideals is unfair to the author and the work, and I’d rather be too forgiving than too critical. I’m doing my best to go in with an open mind and give the writer the benefit of the doubt… or, at least, points for making the effort, imperfect though it may be.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in editing GSRM fiction as a straight cis man, it’s that there is a lot of variety out there, and there always seem to be conflicting ideas of what terms are “right” – such as the asterisk debate with “trans.” (I tend to prefer no asterisk, but it’s more of a gut reaction that “*” is neither a letter nor punctuation and shouldn’t be used as either. Other mileages vary.). Sometimes the best you can do is take your best shot and hope it’s not too far from the mark.

  47. Kendall: Based on that (no sex), the only one I’d drop off my rec list then is Jordan Castillo Price.

    No, no, no… the list isn’t for me. I’m asking you’all specifically because I couldn’t possibly create such a list myself, I’d be absolutely clueless about anything with much sex or what constitutes good LBGTQ SFF. So thanks for all your suggestions, they’ll be passed on.

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