Pixel Scroll 10/4/17 A Hollow Voice Says “Pixel”

(0) WE INTERRUPT THIS SCROLL. I will be taking the train to New Mexico to attend my mother’s 91st birthday celebration over the weekend. I leave Thursday evening and get back Tuesday morning. The train won’t have wi-fi and once I get there I’ll be with the family, so I won’t be able to write Scrolls some of these days (any of these days?) I plan to set up in advance a daily stub with hope that some of you will do-it-yourself, as you did so magnificently when I was offline a year ago. Thanks also to Carl Slaughter who has also chipped in some short video roundups that will be unveiling each night.

(1) VANDERMEER DEAL. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak hears from “Annihilation author Jeff VanderMeer on how his next novel is inspired by our dystopian present”.

Annihilation and Borne author Jeff VanderMeer signed a “major deal” with publisher FSG for his next novel, Hummingbird Salamander, and an untitled short story collection. The deal is for over half a million dollars, and VanderMeer tells The Verge that it’s inspired in part by his concerns over the state the world when it comes to right-wing politics, climate change, and national security.

(2) BEHIND BARS CON. Utah author Brian Lee Durfee (with Simon and Shuster) works at the Utah State Prison. With strong support from the facility’s administration, Brian is launching a convention to be held at the prison for the prisoners. Maze Runner author James Dashner will be there. Durfee told his plans and hopes for it on Facebook.

Good idea? Bad idea? COMIC CON inside a prison. Yup! I arranged it. Not as easy as one might think either. I’m calling it PRISON CON…..I will give you a moment with that) . Anyway, as many of you know I’m a Sergeant at the Utah State Prison. I also teach creative writing inside the prison. I also write novels and meet other famous authors in my travels. And I also have WILD ideas that just take root & wont let go. So on Oct 17 all my various worlds will collide! James Dashner (author of the Maze Runner series) and I are putting on a little mini convention for the Inmates. I must thank Dashner for donating his time to this event and Warden Benzon for agreeing to the craziness of it all. Inmates will be Cosplaying as…well…DOC Inmates. I will be in a Darth Vader suit. Not really. But on a serious note, the inmates LOVE books and LOVE reading, and many are even talented writers. It might not seem like much, two writers discussing books and Maze Runner movies, but letting those who are locked up feel as if they are part of normal society for even an hour or two is a huge deal. They are excited for this. So lets hope its a success because I want PRISON CON to grow and become an annual thing. I truly believe going out of your way to make a difference and to give others hope (even if its just in your own small corner of the world) is important to the future of us all. Thanks also to Director Jensen and Sgt Preece and Officer Halladay and all the programming staff and SWAT guys that will be helping. I always wanna promote the positive things that are happening on the inside.

(3) IN MINNESOTA. Cory Doctorow and Charlie Jane Anders will appear together at the Twin Cities Book Festival. Also appearing are cartoonist Roz Chast, and the Lemony Snicket guy, Senator Al Franken and others.

Twin Cities Book Festival, Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Friday, October 13, 2017: 6-7pm Reception; 7-8pm Opening Night Talk

Saturday, October 14, 2017: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

(4) RECONSIDERED. I thank Nerds of a Feather, who took down the post that led off yesterday’s Scroll and issued an apology.

We made the editorial decision to pull a recent post on the video game Destiny. In the post, the author discusses at length the various weaponry used in the game and why some are more effective than others.

Like most of our pieces, this one was written more than a week ago and pre-scheduled by the author. And in normal times, this would just be another piece on video games. But these are not normal times. Two days before the Destiny piece posted, a man used an arsenal of real weapons to murder more than fifty people in Las Vegas, whose only “crime” was attending a music festival.

We do not believe that violence in video games has any more relationship to actual violence than violence in film, comics or pen-and-paper RPGs. But the timing of our post was nevertheless problematic. Like many of you, we are in deep shock and grief over what happened, and are angry that the US government does nothing to prevent these kinds of incidents. Thus we apologize for posting something that appears to treat these issues lightly, and just days after the massacre occurred.

-G, Vance and Joe

(5) WORKADAY WORLD. Galactic Journey, in “[October 4, 1962] Get to work!  (The Mercury Flight of Sigma 7)”, notes that excitement about space missions seems to decline in proportion to their frequency and successes.

Five years ago, satellite launches were quarterly events that dominated the front page.  Now, the Air Force is launching a mission every week, and NASA is not far behind.  The United Kingdom and Canada have joined the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in the orbital club, and one can be certain that Japan and France aren’t far behind.  It’s truer than ever that, as I’ve said before, unmanned spaceflight has become routine.

Yesterday, the same thing happened to manned missions.\

39 year-old Navy Commander Walter M. “Wally” Schirra blasted off early the morning of October 3, 1962, flew for six orbits, and splashed down safely in the Pacific near Midway Island less than half a day later.  His Sigma 7 capsule was in space twice as long as Glenn and Carpenter’s Mercury ships and, to all accounts, it was a thoroughly uneventful trip.  Aside from the whole nine hours of weightlessness thing.

While the newspapers all picked up the mission, radio and television coverage was decidedly less comprehensive than for prior flights.  Part of it was the lack of drama.  Shepard was the first.  Grissom almost drowned.  Glenn’s mission had the highest stakes, it being our answer to the Soviet Vostok flights, and his capsule ran the risk of burning up on reentry.  For a couple of hours, Carpenter was believed lost at sea.

(6) CATNIP. John Scalzi spent a busy day telling trolls how he feels about them, a series of tweets now collected in “A Brief Addendum to ‘Word Counts and Writing Process'”.

Although I can see why Solzhenitsyn would come to mind, writing about oppression is the very reason Solzhenitsyn’s name is known. Wouldn’t it have been a comparative loss if he’d been, say, an untroubled but prolific creator of musical comedies?

(7) PURLOINED PARAGRAPHS. Lou Antonelli, the gift that keeps on taking! After File 770 announced a Storybundle with his book in it this afternoon, Lou ganked the text and put it on his blog without attribution. Admittedly all I had to do was write a frame for Kevin J. Anderson’s description of the project, but I guess a Dragon Award nominee like Lou couldn’t spare five minutes away from his next contender to write a frame of his own.


  • October 4, 1961 Attack of the Puppet People premiered in Mexico.
  • October 4, 1985The Adventures of Hercules premiered and staring Lou Ferrigno.


  • Launched October 4, 1957 – Sputnik 1

(10) MORE ON SPUTNIK. NBC says “Soviet satellite embarrassed America but also gave U.S. science education a big boost.” — “Sputnik Shook the Nation 60 Years Ago. That Could Happen Again”.

It was the size of a fitness ball, but its effect was bigger than that of any bomb.

Sixty years ago, on Oct. 4, 1957, the world awoke to learn that the Soviet Union had launched a satellite into orbit — the first nation to do so. Sputnik 1 was nearly two feet in diameter and weighed as much as a middle-aged insurance salesman. Most people were stunned.

Why was this so disturbing? The idea of artificial satellites had been around for a while. Indeed, sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke had written up a prescient scheme predicting the use of geosynchronous satellites for communications as early as 1945.

The shock, of course, was because Sputnik was launched at the height of the Cold War.


John King Tarpinian found a space fashion statement in today’s Speedbump.

(12) FROM BINTI TO MARVEL. Nnedi Okorafor will be writing for Marvel’s Black Panther.

(13) A BUNDLE THESE COST. On eBay, golden Yoda cufflinks, baby! A mere $3,999.95! (Tax and shipping mumble).

(14) CANADIAN SFF HALL OF FAME. The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (CSFFA) added three inductees to the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame for 2017: Charles de Lint, Lorna Toolis, and Elisabeth Vonarburg. The announcement was made September 23 at Hal-Con. [H/T Locus Online.]

(15) I INHALED. Fast Company profiles Beyond the Castle: A Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After by Jody Jean Dreyer, who worked for the Walt Disney Studios and Disney Parks Division for 30 years in “The Secrets Of Disneyland: A Company Vet Explains How The Magic Happens”. I knew there was an artificial “new car smell” but I didn’t know Disneyland had similar concepts for its attractions.

Provide A Complete Experience—Aromas Included

Think back to your favorite Disneyland ride. Maybe it’s the dusty rock-filled Indiana Jones Adventure, or the rickety, open-air Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Whatever your attraction of choice, your memory of it might include a smell: the stuffy, musty attic air of the Haunted Mansion or the leathery dampness of the Pirates of the Caribbean, with just a hint of gunpowder and sea salt.

“That is on purpose,” says Dreyer.

Disneyland’s Imagineers–the creative force behind Walt Disney Parks and Resorts–rely on a scent-emitting machine known as the Smellitzer (patented by Imagineer Bob McCarthy), which produces specific sweet, savory, or mundane smells to accompany various park attractions. Imagineers understand that smell is hardwired to our brain, specifically the area that handles emotions. In her book, Dreyer writes, “That’s why smell can transport us to a time and feeling that we’d long forgotten.”

So whether you’re shopping for a stuffed Donald Duck or clutching your safety bar on Space Mountain, you’ll get a whiff of whatever the Smellitzer crafted to make your experience complete. Even the wafts of popcorn along Main Street U.S.A. are by design.

(16) GOING PUBLIC. Regardless of whether they will be attending, some fans are upset that YaoiCon is letting a Vice Media crew shoot video at the con. The thread starts here.

(17) OUR PAL. Two days next week the Turner Classic Movie channel will run a series of George Pal movies.

(17) FOR YOUR FILES. How could I fail to mention a new product called Pixel Buds? Put them in your ears and they control your mind! Wait, that’s something else.

Loud, proud, wireless.

Google Pixel Buds are designed for high-quality audio and fit comfortably in your ear.

(18) CAT PICTURES. This clever design is available on a variety of products: Cat’s Eye of Sauron (Barad-pûrr).

“The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing.”- The Fellowship of the Ring

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Andrew Porter, Dave Christenson, Tom Galloway, and Dave Doering for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Niall McAuley.]

64 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/4/17 A Hollow Voice Says “Pixel”

  1. (0) Keep the train scrolling!

    (2) Sounds like a wonderful plan. Though I’d call it CONviction (yes, I know the name has been used a few times before), even if Panopticon (as proposed over on Facebook) also is good. Or BarCon, for that matter.

    (Other con activities? Filking should be worthwhile to try. Panels, workshops, and interviews are easy. A film program of course. An art exhibition. And come to think of it, I have a slew of Joe Hill filks, several of the originals written while he was in death row in Utah.)

    (6) That’s a false equivalence, Mike. We have gotten great art out of war and oppression, but it’s often art about war and oppression. We don’t know what great art could have appeared otherwise, and it feeds into the toxic “you must suffer for your art” meme.

    (16) Sounds like something that can go real bad real fast. We’ve had tv crews at several Swedish cons, but it has been either news (in which case they’ve usually had a con liaison with them at all times and only been there for an hour or two), or in one case a documentary/education/debate channel who filmed several of our panels. But I can share the worry about how things will be presented and framed in final production, and having a tv crew there during the entire con can become an intrusion.

  2. So they are basically saying that attending the con is considered your agreement to be filmed and your image to be used in any way they please? No releases required? Are they going to post the complete filming schedule to help people avoid the cameras?

    A great happy birthday to your Mom, Mike!

  3. 16) I haven’t attended Yaoi Con in years, but unless it’s changed a lot, I don’t see this going well. Given the subject matter, films of attendees can be used for harassment, or in some places, get them into trouble with work or the law. If it was a public venue that would be one thing, but in a private con? I’m not happy.

  4. It’s hard to imagine a world where the greatest artists would not work in the greatest art form, but that is the story in the latest show by the multiple-Modest award winner Danny Elfman. It is a dark vision of a dystopian alternate history, where for the want of a libretto, the world descends into an orgy of militarism and violence. Elfman’s score, as always, is at least very good, but the story is too bleak to endure and it makes no sense. Eric Blair, of the great Britten and Blair, is an impoverished pulp writer, living alone on a remote island and dying young of tuberculosis?

    In the real world, teen whiz Solzhenitsyn wrote his sparkling libretto for “Orango” in the nick of time, of course, because nobody’s ever been better at a deadline. And of course the show was a smash hit. Solzhenitsyn and Shostakovich became the new Gilbert and Sullivan, the renowned “Comrades in Rhyme,” conquerors of the airwaves, and the richest men in showbiz. Without them it would have been a poorer world indeed. I’m glad we live in the real world and not Elfman’s imagination.

    Enough of that. I think I’ll put “Lady Macbeth” on the turntable and cheer things up a bit. Have you heard, Nelson and Waldrop have a new musical coming out next month?

  5. Tom Becker on October 5, 2017 at 12:22 am said:

    It’s hard to imagine a world where the greatest artists would not work in the greatest art form, but that is the story in the latest show by the multiple-Modest award winner Danny Elfman. It is a dark vision of a dystopian alternate history, where for the want of a libretto, the world descends into an orgy of militarism and violence. Elfman’s score, as always, is at least very good, but the story is too bleak to endure and it makes no sense. Eric Blair, of the great Britten and Blair, is an impoverished pulp writer, living alone on a remote island and dying young of tuberculosis?

    Is it entitled “Orwell That Ends Well”?

  6. Mike, I hope your mother has a great birthday. My own died over thirty years ago, but Ann’s is still going strong at 97. We rented a hall for a big party for her 90th. I put together a music program of as many #1 hits from September 3 over the years as I could find.

    She bowls twice a week, and the only reason she isn’t still volunteering at the hospital gift shop is that the hospital closed its gift shop. She’s thinking about finally giving up her car, because other drivers make her nervous.

    I wish I had her genes.

    I hope your mom is doing well, too. Ann and I send her our best wishes.

  7. Happy birthday to your mother, Mike! Hope it all goes well.

    Prison Con sounds wonderful!



    (6) CATNIP

    An interesting one. Solzhenitsyn was probably at his most productive while the USSR was going through a relatively liberal phase, and he then had to produce Gulag Archipelago in secret when things turned again. I suspect he was still able to be motivated to finish Gulag Archipelago precisely because it was his act of rebellion against the oppression. If he’d been trying to produce musical comedies of no protest value in that same period then I imagine he’d not have been as motivated.


    I’ve been posting here using my Google Pixel phone for a year and didn’t even think to make this joke…sigh.

  9. (0) congratulations to your mother! I hope you enjoy your trip and you all enjoy the celebration.

  10. Eric Blair, of the great Britten and Blair, is an impoverished pulp writer, living alone on a remote island and dying young of tuberculosis?

    I’d so not want to live in a world without that scene from “Orwell’s that Ends Well” where Winston realizes that he’s fallen for Julia’s elder sibling and belts out “It’s as simple as 2 plus 2 equals five; I’m simply so happy to be alive; Oh Julia, I know that for me there’s no other, I’ve won the battle, I love Big Brother.”

  11. @2: kudos to the Utah authorities for supporting this; too many prison managers think they’re running mere lockups, with no thought to what will happen when sentences are finished.

    @10: I notice they speak of the trauma of not being first, but not of the advantage: from what I read there was considerable worry that the USSR would call a US satellite an infringement of USSR space, but with no US objection to Sputnik that claim would have been bogus.

    @13: are those teardrops? paws? ?? on the anchor ends of the links supposed to mean something?

    @15: that’s an impressive collection of jobs the author had; does Disney mostly promote major executives from within rather than hiring outside experience?
    Note: the end of the review speaks of the tunnels in Florida as if they were unique; I thought the backstage tour I took in 1992 indicated that California had similar tunnels. (Possibly dug after they worked for the Florida park, or maybe I misunderstood — experience with a Boston subway extension suggests that even pure tunneling would have made some disruption, which would have marred the Magic.) Also, we were told that Florida doesn’t have true tunnels, due to the water table; the entire Magic Kingdom is on an artificially raised surface, with the rise to the park sufficiently stretched out (20 feet over a mile?) that people riding the monorail from the entrance don’t notice it.

    @16: so who are Vice Media, and why is the convention telling shy attendees to avoid them instead of making VM ask permission for photos? AFAICT that’s standard for conventions grown out of the reading tradition; comments suggest this is odd for ~media conventions as well?
    @OGH: the writeup says “thread starts here”, but there’s no actual link.

    @Tom Becker: nice inversion.

  12. Chip Hitchcock: @13: are those teardrops? paws? ?? on the anchor ends of the links supposed to mean something?


    Chip Hitchcock: @16: the writeup says “thread starts here”, but there’s no actual link.

    Click on the tweet to see the thread.

  13. Is it just me, or does “The Golden Yoda” sound like some sort of sex act?

  14. Darren Garrison “rubber sheets we use, hmmm?”

    6: the only thing that rant inspired in me was to wonder if Braincycles were the preferred mode of transportation in Zombieland…

  15. Back in the 80s or 90s, a fellow in New Jersey passed on. He had become Santa Claus, changing his name legally to Santa C. Claus, with the form and features to match. Naturally, the paper ran an obituary for him, with a photo.

    On Christmas Day. SANTA C. CLAUS SUCCUMBS. Sorry, kids!

    I have a copy of it somewhere. I ran it in New Pals as a service to parents. Just show this to the wee ones on Christmas, and that’s why they didn’t get any presents this year!

    [ha ha ha click ha ha ha haaa]


  16. (0) Happy birthday to your mom, Mike! Travel safe.

    (17) I received a set of Jaybird Freedom earbuds this year. They not only fit wonderfully and have a long battery life, they also stay in my ears while I’m putting on my helmet.

    On a separate note, I had the privilege of meeting Peter V. Brett last night. The final installment of his Demon Cycle series (The Core) just came out. Unless he seriously muffs the landing, the series will be on my Hugo nomination ballot for Best Series. I’m hopeful that the book will make my Best Novel list as well.

    He was tremendously gracious during the Q/A and during the book signing. He also vigorously (and appropriately IMHO) defended authors (GRRM in particular) that take the time that they need to properly create and/or finish their books/series.

    The first book in the series is The Warded Man (in the US) or The Painted Man (in the UK). It can be read as a standalone. It is only after reading the second book that a reader needs to buckle in for the long haul.

    Which has been totally worth it thus far.


  17. Happy Birthday to Mom!

    Tonight I’m going to Ann Leckie’s signing at Pandemonium Books in Cambridge! Very excited!

  18. (0) Happy birthday to your Mom! Don’t forget to thank her for sharing her excellent genes. (A small tradition in my family, where we have learned that old age starts, at earliest, in the mid-80s, and few are ready to cross that final frontier till early or mid-90s. We young’uns, with the youngest of my generation in their fifties, live in hope we have gotten our share of those genes.)

    (6) We have no way to know what Solzhenitsyn would have written in the absence of oppression, but there’s no reason to assume a great talent and intellect would have chosen to produce trivial work.

    (19) Practicing for Mike’s absence by posting a news item of my own. After a scary 24 hours in which I was hospitalized, poked, prodded, xrayed, CAT-scanned, and questioned on subjects I was none to coherent about, it is determined that I am definitely alive. There was a brief fear of pneumonia, but that was ruled out.

    Hydration, antibiotics, an anti-anxiety med–something in there did good things.

    Serious dizziness is not fun.

    If someone is vomiting badly, and is carefully keeping their torso parallel to the ground, do not try to “help” by pushing their torso and head downward. Seriously. DON’T DO IT.

    That is all.

  19. @8 The obvious question is, a loss to whom? Given the choice, would Solzhenitsyn have chosen an untroubled life of musical comedy writing, in a Russia that had never suffered Stalinism or the existence of the gulags, over the writing he made from his and many other people’s oppression? The Gulag Archipelago because it isn’t the story of one man’s suffering in an otherwise positive environment, and the question looks rather different if it becomes “wouldn’t it have been a comparative loss if that entire system of oppression had never existed, but Solzhenitsyn had been a comparatively untroubled writer of musical comedies?”

    It’s not just our hypothetical loss, as people living in relative comfort who wouldn’t have had the books Solzhenitsyn wrote in our timeline. It’s also the hypothetical gain of everyone else who was sent to the gulags, who would have been free to enjoy those musical comedies, some of whom might have lived to make great art.

    Making art out of, or despite, oppression and catastrophe is one of the good things about being human. That can make the oppression and catastrophe easier to accept, and if someone says that at least their past sufferings made them who they are today, that’s valid: the person who didn’t go through those things doesn’t exist, and we don’t know what they might have thought. But the people who didn’t survive those things no longer exist, and we don’t know what they might have thought either.

    I don’t think there’s a coherent answer to “how many great novels, or paintings, or works of music are worth the deaths from the Pulse massacre?” (The question is grammatically coherent, but it feels profoundly wrong) Someone might be willing to die to write one great novel, but what sort of art would we get from someone who would, consciously and willingly, sacrifice fifty other people’s lives if that was the price of being able to a great novel?

  20. @Chip:

    @10: I notice they speak of the trauma of not being first, but not of the advantage: from what I read there was considerable worry that the USSR would call a US satellite an infringement of USSR space, but with no US objection to Sputnik that claim would have been bogus.

    Yes. By 1957, the US had been pushing for “Freedom of Space” for a couple of years against Soviet resistance, so the US was happy that Sputnik had taken that issue off the table. This article https://launiusr.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/sputnik-and-free-overflight-in-space/ has some details.

  21. (0) For the titles of the stubs, you might consider variations on this:
    You Are in a Scroll of Little Twisted Pixels, All Different
    You Are in a Scroll of Little Twisty Pixels, All Different
    You Are in a Twisted Scroll of Little Pixels, All Different
    You Are in a Scroll of Little Twisting Pixels, All Different

  22. @Andrew

    I’d so not want to live in a world without that scene from “Orwell’s that Ends Well” where Winston realizes that he’s fallen for Julia’s elder sibling and belts out “It’s as simple as 2 plus 2 equals five; I’m simply so happy to be alive; Oh Julia, I know that for me there’s no other, I’ve won the battle, I love Big Brother.”

    Where’s that damned Like button??

    @Lis —

    I hope the world settles down for you soon! (yes, I see what I did there. 😉 )

  23. It is pitch black. You are likely to be pixeled by a scroll.

    Feel better, Lis. And happy birthday, Mike’s mom!

  24. @Lis

    Hoping that you find a satisfactory and long-term solution to your dizziness issues. I have a couple of close family members that I have helped through similar problems. Extended (and frequently inexplicable) dizziness/vertigo is one of the most difficult conditions to live with.

    @Vicki Rosenzwieg



  25. There are some artists that are well known, because they are/were oppressed. The German singer Biermann during the FDR was mainly known in Westgermany, because he was hated by the East regime. I dare say Wei Wei would also be much less known, if Chinas ruling powers wouldn’t ban any criticism on them.
    But true genius doesn’t need to be oppressed. Pretty of counter-examples there (i.e. All geniuses that weren’t oppressed)

  26. Best wishes to our host and his mother.

    My wife and I will be visiting her 90 year old mother this weekend. Wonderful to have these folks still with us.

  27. (0) Have fun!

    I finished The Good Place series one – very worth watching, thoroughly enjoyed it. Can’t say much without spoiling it. Interesting premise, good character work, good plotting. I’ve pencilled it in for DP Long next year.

    Amazon UK ebook sales (Meredith Moment):

    The Bear and The Nightingale, by Katherine Arden
    In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family. But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods…

    Strange Practice: A Greta Helsing Novel, by Vivian Shaw
    After inheriting a highly specialised, and highly peculiar, medical practice, Dr Helsing spends her days treating London’s undead for a host of ills: vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights and entropy in mummies. But when a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human undead and alike, Greta must use all her unusual skills to keep her supernatural clients – and the rest of London – safe.

    The Transition, by Luke Kennard
    Karl has let his debts get wildly out of control and now he could have to go to prison, so when he and his wife Genevieve are instead offered a place on a mysterious self-improvement scheme called The Transition, they agree. At first all it requires is that they give up their credit cards and move into the spare room of their ‘mentors’, Janna and Stu, who seem perfectly lovely . . .

    Extinction Reversed, by J.S. Morin
    Charlie7 is the retired progenitor of a mechanical race he built from the ashes of a dead world—Earth. Or he was retired, until a human girl named Eve was dropped in his lap. But Eve’s creator wants her back and has a gruesome fate planned for her. For the first time in a thousand years, Charlie7 has a human race to protect.

    A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan
    Hugo-eligible series
    Lady Trent is known to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist.
    (Personal note: I felt that this was the weakest of the series, although it is still decent enough, so it is worth keeping going if you liked it but it wasn’t socksish. The series gets much better once the author settles in. I have the series on my ballot.)

    Underground Airlines, by Ben Winters
    It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it. Except for one thing: slavery still exists. Victor has escaped his life as a slave, but his freedom came at a high price. Striking a bargain with the government, he has to live his life working as a bounty hunter. But his latest target is a runaway holding something extraordinary.

    Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch
    The first in the popular-with-Filers and Hugo-nominated series.

    The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

    Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

    Long After Midnight, by Ray Bradbury
    Short story collection.

    Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson

  28. Congratulations and happy birthday to your mother, Mike!

    @Dann – Oh man, those earbuds are insanely expensive (for my budget) but look like they’d be perfect.

    Not quite a Meredith Moment, but War for the Overworld is on sale for 70% off right now on Steam. It’s basically the spiritual successor of Dungeon Keeper, if you remember that game. I’ve never played it, but I’m downloading it now…

  29. @Meredith – The Bear and The Nightingale, by Katherine Arden

    Have you read that one? If not Meredith, have any other filers read it? The plot sounds like something I’d like.

  30. I finished The Good Place series one – very worth watching, thoroughly enjoyed it. Can’t say much without spoiling it.

    As of (looks at watch) 5 hours from now, you’ll be 4 episodes behind on season 2!

  31. @kathodus

    I picked it up because it sounded interesting, but I haven’t read it yet! Johan P really liked it though.

    @Darren Garrison

    I’m completely up to date with series two but I’m still two episodes behind. 🙂 UK Netflix airing is on a bit of a delay for this particular show (I’m still happy, though – I’ve been keeping an eye out since the first trailer was released but it took ages to get a release here and Netflix put up the whole of series one right before they started airing series two). S2E3 comes out tomorrow evening, I think.

  32. @Meredith – Thanks for that link! I can never find the comments I dimly remember from previous scrolls.

    I don’t know if any Filers are interested, but Lela E. Buis, the often-perplexing sometimes-filer who has chimed in here at times about Puppy-related issues, has been making an effort to review SFF that comes from “nonstandard” (for USian and Western European values of the term) viewpoints. She just posted a review of “Things We Lost in the Fire,” by Mariana Enriquez. I’ve put the book on my EreaderIQ list (no need to hurry up and buy a full-price book when the atmosphere is barely breathable at the peak of my own private Mt. Tsundoku).

  33. Meredithery comment – Strange Practice: A Greta Helsing Novel, by Vivian Shaw

    I thought this was okay, but no more than that. A potentially interesting set-up seemed to get lost in assembling a cast of characters who totally coincidentally could solve the problem between them.
    (Note that I don’t always take to UFs that others really like, so mileage may vary)

Comments are closed.