Pixel Scroll 11/15/19 Looks Like The Time Machine’s Getting Stuck Between Floors. There’s Just A Blank Where The Chronograph Should Be

(1) JOHN M. FORD RETURNING TO PRINT. Isaac Butler’s research for “The Disappearance of John M. Ford” at Slate led to an unexpected benefit: “I wanted to learn why a beloved science fiction writer fell into obscurity after his death. I didn’t expect that I would help bring his books back to life.”

It would take me 18 months to answer my questions. My quest would bring me to the vast treasure trove of Ford’s uncollected and unpublished writing. It would introduce me to friends and relatives of Ford who hadn’t spoken to each other since his death in 2006. And, in an improbable ending worthy of a John M. Ford novel, my quest would in fact set in motion the long-delayed republication of his work, starting in the fall of 2020. How did this happen? More importantly, why was he forgotten in the first place? More importantly than that: How did he write those amazing books?

…And so, after months of investigation, I found myself in an Iceberg Passage, seeing only some of the story while, lurking beneath the surface, other truths remained obscure. I do not share Ford’s horror at obviousness, but there are simply things that we will never know. We will never know why Mike and his family grew apart, or, from the family’s perspective, how far apart they were. We will never know who anonymously tried to edit the Wikipedia page to cut out Elise Matthesen. (The family denies any involvement.)

But I reconnected Ford’s family and editors at Tor, and after a year of delicate back-and-forth spearheaded by Beth Meacham, Tor and the family have reached an agreement that will gradually bring all of his books back into print, plus a new volume of stories, poems, Christmas cards, and other uncollected material. First up, in fall 2020, is the book that introduced me to Ford, The Dragon Waiting. Then, in 2021, Tor will publish—at long last—the unfinished Aspects, with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

(2) A LOOK AT CHIZINE CONTRACTS. Victoria Strauss’ roundup “Scandal Engulfs Independent Publisher ChiZine Publications “ at Writer Beware includes this analysis of CZP’s exploitative hold on royalty payments:

CZP’s contract boilerplate empowers the publisher to set a “reasonable” reserve against returns. There are no specifics, so it’s basically up to the publisher to decide what “reasonable” is.

For CZP, “reasonable” seems to mean 50%. This seemed high to me, so I did a mini-canvass of literary agents on Twitter. Most agreed that smaller is better–maybe 25-30%, though some felt that 50% was justifiable depending on the circumstances. They also pointed out that the reserve percentage should fall in subsequent reporting periods (CZP’s remains at 50%, unless boilerplate has been negotiated otherwise), and that publishers should not hold reserves beyond two or three years, or four or five accounting periods (CZP has held reserves for some authors for much longer).

(If you’re unclear on what a reserve against returns is, here’s an explanation.)

– Per CZP’s contract, royalties are paid “by the first royalty period falling one year after publication.” What this means in practice (based on the royalty statements I saw) is that if your pub date is (hypothetically) April of 2016, you are not eligible for payment until the first royalty period that follows your one-year anniversary–which, since CZP pays royalties just once a year on a January-December schedule, would be the royalty period ending December 2017. Since publishers often take months to issue royalty statements and payments following the end of a royalty period, you’d get no royalty check until sometime in 2018–close to, or possibly more than, two full years after publication.

In effect, CZP is setting a 100% reserve against returns for at least a year following publication, and often much more. This gives it the use of the author’s money for far too long, not to mention a financial cushion that lets it write smaller checks, since it doesn’t have to pay anything out until after returns have come in (most sales and most returns occur during the first year of release).

I shouldn’t need to say that this is non-standard. It’s also, in my opinion, seriously exploitative.

– And…about that annual payment. It too is non-standard–even the big houses pay twice a year, and most small publishers pay quarterly or even more often. It’s also extra-contractual–at least for the contracts I saw. According to CZP’s boilerplate, payments are supposed to be bi-annual after that initial year-or-more embargo. The switch to annual payment appears to have been a unilateral decision by CZP owners for logistical and cost reasons, actual contract language be damned (I’ve seen documentation of this).

(3) ANIMATED TREK. Tor.com has assembled a wealth of “New Details and Trailers Out for Star Trek‘s Animated ‘Short Treks’”.

Before the end of 2019, Star Trek will boldly do something it has never done in the 21st century before: Tell stand-alone stories in an animated format. It’s been known for a while that the final two Short Treks of 2019 would be animated, but we didn’t know what they’ d be about, or how they would even look…until now!

(4) TRANSCRIPTS FROM THE UNDERGROUND. Ursula V’s dungeon party reports in. Thread starts here.

(5) CAPTAIN FUTURE. Amazing Selects™ will launch with the release of Allen Steele’s Captain Future in Love, a novella originally serialized in Amazing Stories magazine that “continues the adventures of Edmond Hamilton’s pulp adventure hero Curt Newton, aka Captain Future, rebooted and updated in Allen Steele’s inimitable Neo Pulp style.”

Amazing Selects ™ is a new imprint from Experimenter Publishing Company LLC that will feature stand-alone novella-length works, in both print and electronic formats.

The new Captain Future, originally introduced in Steele’s Avengers of the Moon (Tor, 2017),  “brings golden age science fiction into the modern era presenting classic space opera adventure with modern sensibilities.”

The edition features concept art by Rob Caswell, interior illustrations by Nizar Ilman and non-fiction features by Allen Steele.

Captain Future in Love is available through Amazon in paperback and ebook and through the Amazing Stories store.

(6) NOBODY’S KEEPING SCORE. The new edition of the BBC Radio 4 Film Programme “Emma Thompson” is mainly about the Last Christmas film, but includes two other segments of genre interest. Hear it online for the next four weeks.

Emma Thompson has written 6 films in which she also stars. Last Christmas is the latest. She explains why she sometimes has to bite her tongue when actors deliver her lines in ways that she hadn’t quite imagined.

Neil Brand reveals how the ground-breaking score to cult classic Forbidden Planet was a last minute replacement and why the original composer decided to destroy his rejected score.

“Apocalypse Now meets Pygmalion”. Matthew Sweet pitches a long forgotten science fiction novel to film industry experts Lizzie Francke, Rowan Woods and Clare Binns.

(7) TUNE IN AGAIN. Also on BBC Radio 4 is a production of Doris Lessing’s The Good Terrorist. Available for the next 11 days.

First-ever dramatisation of Doris Lessing’s 1985 satire of incompetent revolutionaries in a London squat. Starring Olivia Vinall and Joe Armstrong, dramatised by Sarah Daniels.

(8) EATING THE FANTASTIC. Scott Edelman invites listeners to nibble naan with artist Paul Kirchner in Episode 109 of the Eating the Fantastic podcast.

Paul Kirchner.

I’ve been attending the Maryland-based indie comics convention SPX — that is, the Small Press Expo — for 15 or so of its 36 years, and this time around took the opportunity to dine with artist Paul Kirchner, who breathed the same comic industry air I did during the ’70s.

Paul broke into comics in the early ‘70s through a fortuitous series of events which had him meeting the legendary comics artist Neal Adams, who introduced him to DC Comics editor Joe Orlando, and within the week getting a gig as assistant to Tex Blaisdell helping him out on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip and stories for DC’s mystery books. He also worked for awhile as assistant to the great EC Comics artist and Daredevil innovator Wally Wood. He moved on from mainstream comics to draw two wonderfully surrealistic strips — “Dope Rider” for High Times and “the bus” for Heavy Metal. His wide-ranging creative resume also includes a graphic novel collaboration with the great writer of detective novels Janwillem van de Wetering, designs for such toy lines as Dino-Riders and Spy-Tech, and much more.

(9) RAINBOW OVER AND UNDER. Will this Andy Weir collaboration make it to the screen? The Hollywood Reporter covers the deal: “Amblin, Michael De Luca Tackling ‘Martian’ Author’s Fantasy Graphic Novel ‘Cheshire Crossing'”.

…The fantasy mashup tells the story of Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Alice of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan‘s Wendy, who meet in boarding school for troubled young ladies. They each believe they’ve traveled to a fantastical world but no one else does. When their world-hopping sees Captain Hook and the Wicked Witch of the West team up to combine their magical villainy, the trio must band together to thwart them.

The graphic novel began life as a piece of fan fiction that Weir wrote prior to finding best-selling and Hollywood success with Martian…

(10) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • November 15, 1968 Star Trek’s “The Tholian Web” premiered on NBC.  In a two-part episode of Enterprise titled “In a Mirror, Darkly”, the Tholians will be back with a story continuing this story.

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 15, 1877 William Hope Hodgson. By far, his best known character is Thomas Carnacki, featured in several of his most famous stories and at least partly based upon Algernon Blackwood’s occult detective John Silence. (Simon R. Green will make use of him in his Ghost Finders series.)  Two of his later novels, The House on the Borderland and The Night Land would be lavishly praised by H.P. Lovecraft.  It is said that his horror writing influenced many later writers such as China Miéville, Tim Lebbon and Greg Bear but I cannot find a definitive source for that claim. (Died 1918.)
  • Born November 15, 1929 Ed Asner, 90. Genre work includes roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Outer Limits,  Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Invaders, The Wild Wild West, Mission: Impossible, Shelley Duvall’s Tall Tales & Legends, Batman: The Animated Series and I’ll stop there as the list goes on for quite some while.
  • Born November 15, 1930 J. G. Ballard. I’ll frankly admit that I’ve not read enough of him to render a coherent opinion of him as writer. What I’ve read such as The Drowned World is more than a bit depressing. Well yes, but really depressing. (Died 2009.)
  • Born November 15, 1933 Theodore Roszak. Winner of the Tiptree Award for The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and the rather excellent Flicker which is superb. Flicker is available at Apple Books and Kindle though no other fiction by him is. Odd. (Died 2011.)
  • Born November 15, 1934 Joanna Barnes, 85. She’s Jane Parker in Tarzan, the Ape Man with Danny Miller in the title role. It’s not until she’s Carsia in the “Up Above the World So High” episode of The Planet of The Apes series that she does anything so genre again. And a one-off on classic Fantasy Island wraps up her SFF acting.
  • Born November 15, 1939 Yaphet Kotto, 80. Assuming we count the Bond films as genre and I do, his first genre performance was as Dr. Kananga / Mr. Big in Live and Let Die. Later performances included Parker in Alien, William Laughlin in The Running Man, Doc in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Ressler in The Puppet Masters adapted from Heinlein’s 1951 novel of the same name and a horrid film, and he played a character named Captain Jack Clayton on SeaQuest DSV.
  • Born November 15, 1942 Ruth Berman, 77. She’s a writer mostly of speculative poetry. In 2003, she won the Rhysling Award for Best Short Poem for “Potherb Gardening“.  She was also the winner of the 2006 Dwarf Stars Award for her poem “Knowledge Of”.  She’s also written one YA fantasy novel, Bradamant’s quest. And 1973, she was a finalist for the first Campbell Award for Best New Writer. 

(12) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro gets laughs from the thought-life of Batman’s sidekick.

(13) PALEO POSTAGE. I think I missed the news when these T.Rex stamps were issued in August. Fortunately, they are Forever stamps….

The four distinct stamps depict the long-extinct beast in various forms of its life from a hatchling to a skeleton in a museum.

In two of the stamps, the young adult depicted in skeletal form with a young Triceratops and in the flesh emerging through a forest clearing is the “Nation’s T. Rex,” whose remains were discovered on federal land in Montana and is considered one of the most important specimens of the species ever found, it said.

The four stamps were designed by art director Greg Breeding from original artwork by scientist and paleoartist Julius T. Csotonyi.

Here’s the USPS link to T.Rex products.

(14) NYCON 3. Andrew Porter shared three photos from the 1967 Worldcon, NyCon 3, you aren’t likely to have seen before.

Ted White, Dave Van Arnam, chairs of NYCon 3, at the convention. Photo by and © Andrew Porter.

Ted White pastes up display about NyCon 3, as Robin White looks on: Photo by and © Andrew Porter.

Sam Moskowitz, Norm Metcalf (foreground), Ed Wood at NyCon 3. Photo by and © Andrew Porter.

(15) DRONING AWAY. “DJI makes app to identify drones and find pilots” – but only if the drone self-identifies…

Drone maker DJI has demonstrated a way to quickly identify a nearby drone, and pinpoint the location of its pilot, via a smartphone.

The technique makes use of a protocol called “Wi-Fi Aware”, with which the drone essentially broadcasts information about itself.

The company said it would help prevent security threats and disruption, and give members of the public peace of mind.

But experts believe sophisticated criminals would still be able to circumvent detection.

“It’s going to be very useful against rogue drones,” said Ulrike Franke, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, who studies the impacts of the drone industry.

“But it’s not going to be enough to fight people with real bad intentions, because these are going to be the first people to hack this system.”

DJI told the BBC it could add the functionality to drones already on the market via a software update.

…“If Gatwick staff had a smartphone enabled with this capability in their pockets,” explained Adam Lisberg, from DJI, “they could have taken it out, seen a registration number for the drone, seen the flight path, and the location of the operator.

(16) YA TWITTER. Vulture will fill you in about a new YA Twitter kerfuffle: “Famous Authors Drag Student in Surreal YA Twitter Controversy”. They include gene authors.

Young-adult book Twitter took an especially surreal turn this week when the best-selling novelist Sarah Dessen took offense at a brief critique of her work, inciting a minor Twitter riot, with some of the most famous writers in the world jumping into the fray to defend her.

(17) HOW DID THEY KNOW? I couldn’t help laughing when I read this line in Jon Del Arroz’ blog:

(18) ANOTHER OUTBREAK. USA Today’s Don Oldenburg has kind things to say about Daniel H. Wilson’s novel: “‘The Andromeda Evolution’ an infectious sequel to Michael Crichton’s classic best-seller” – although the reviewer sounds reluctant to admit the book isn’t by Chrichton, who died in 2008.

A new team of four Project Wildfire scientists is sent to the Amazon to investigate how to stop the unexplainable anomaly. A fifth scientist is tracking the crisis from the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth. Meanwhile, a deadly, self-replicating, microparticle structure is growing exponentially, eating the jungle and killing nearby tribal habitants.

(19) NOOO! Those who fail to learn from Jedi history… “Jon Favreau Already Has a Star Picked for His ‘Star Wars’ Holiday Special”.

… “Oh I would definitely be interested in doing a holiday special,” Favreau told Variety at “The Mandalorian” fan event. “And I’m not going to say who I would be interested in. But one of the people is the member of the cast in an upcoming episode of the show. So we’ll leave it at that for now.”

When pressed to see if he was serious, the director doubled down. “I’ve been thinking about it. It’s ready, the ideas are ready. I think it could be really fun. Not as part of this, but there’s an excitement around it because it was so fun and weird, and off and not connected to what ‘Star Wars’ was in the theater. ‘The Mandalorian’ cartoon, the Boba Fett cartoon, from the holiday special was definitely a point of inspiration for what we did in the show.”

(20) WALLACE & GROMIT. The Drum finds a seasonal commercial featuring two popular characters is at the top of the charts: “A week in Christmas ads: big retailers lose out as Wallace & Gromit gives Joules a boost”.

Joules’ heavily-branded Wallce & Gromit-fronted spot from Aardman topped the rankings this week with a star score of 5.4 and a spike rating of 1.51 – indicating sales will follow.

The film shows Wallace, in his typically inventive style, bringing Christmas to West Wallaby Street all at ‘the click of a button’.

Joules’ festive products decorate the living room and there’s no escape for Wallace’s loyal side-kick, Gromit, who becomes the pièce de résistance as the fairy crowning the top of the Christmas tree.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Mike Kennedy, Susan de Guardiola, Martin Morse Wooster, Danny Sichel, Steven H Silver, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, John A Arkansawyer, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Patrick Morris Miller.]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/15/19 Looks Like The Time Machine’s Getting Stuck Between Floors. There’s Just A Blank Where The Chronograph Should Be

  1. 11) As far as Greg Bear and William Hope Hodgson, at least, Bear’s novel City at the End of Time specifically references Hogson’s Night Land at one point.

  2. 11) J.G. Ballard was a fine writer, albeit sometimes a little impenetrable, and given to the use of recurring motifs. I once posted a review of the first volume of his collected short stories, which I will quote in full here:-

    help help help I have just binge-read volume 1 of the collected short stories of J.G. Ballard and now I am drowning in femmes fatales and genteel entropy help me help me my dreams are filled with skyscrapers poetry and sand help help help

    Which I think sums up the experience of reading a concentrated dose of Ballard. Good writer, but take small sips, is my advice.

  3. @1: this is a wonderful article — the cold&depressing facts of his obit in the local paper are set in the context of what he was doing. (I also read through the link to the the WIkipedia Talk about his article — I’m beginning to see why some Filers have sworn they won’t have anything more to do with editing the pages.) Mike left some … very strange .. things behind (see the couple of examples of “The Bard in Prime Time” in From the End of the Twentieth Century); I hope Tor has room for all of them.

    @20: that’s fun. I’d love to see how they did the fire.

    Some UK critics agree with the BBC (see yesterday’s Scroll), some don’t.

    edit: fifth! (Not a bad idea after this week….)

  4. 1) Naive question: In Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s tweet, where he writes “Excepting only the novels written in somebody else’s IP“, what does IP mean?

  5. @StephenfromOttawa — IP = “Intellectual Property”; Ford wrote one Star Trek novel (How Much for Just the Planet), which would be owned by … Paramount?, at any rate, not by Ford or his estate, and so wouldn’t be covered by the TOR deal.

    He also wrote some stories and a novel (Casting Fortune) set in the Liavek shared universe, but I’m not sure if they’d be covered by the TOR deal or not. And I’m not certain if he did any other licensed work.

    (As it happens, his Star Trek novel is one of the few things he wrote that HAS been consistently available over the years, and is even available in eBook format.)

    EDIT: Ninja’d by Goobergunch

  6. Hey, on the one hand, it’s an “everything hurts” night, but on the other hand, Mike Ford’s books are coming back, and in a break from my recent scroll-following, it’s not two days from now.

    So…

    Good?

    And yes, the time machine is definitely broken. I’m stranded in the void between times.

  7. @Joe H
    Mike wrote two Star trek novels, and they’re still available as e-books, at least. (The one you missed is “The Final Reflection”, which is well worth reading.)

  8. correction, John M. Ford wrote two Star Trek novels – ‘How Much for Just the Planet” and “The Final Reflection’.

    jinx

  9. Though the Star Trek novels are best-known, Ford wrote quite a lot with other people’s IP: choose-your-own-adventure-style books featuring the magician Harry Blackstone, issues of the independent comic Captain Confederacy, supplements for various role-playing games, and fiction set in the universes of games such as Car Wars and Traveller, off the top of my head.

  10. @PJ Evans, Danny Sichel & Matthew Johnson — Thanks! I didn’t know about most or all of that …

  11. Ford also wrote Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues, which was one of the very first adventures for Paranoia and established many common tropes for the game.

  12. (11) In my well-used copy of SF: The Best of the Best (Judith Merril, ed.) is Ballard’s early (1956) story “Prima Belladonna,” with its memorable first sentence that begins “I first met Jane Ciracylides during the Recess, that world slump of boredom, lethargy and high summer which carried us all so blissfully through ten unforgettable years…”

    I must admit the two Ballard stories in this book (the other one is the novella “The Sound Sweep”) and two other early stories in other anthologies (“Billennium” and “The Subliminal Man”) constitute the only Ballard that I own.

  13. @Joe H.: And Bear’s “The Way of All Ghosts” is Night Land fanfic taking place in the setting of Eon.

    Ford contributed to gaming literature large and small. I vividly remember a sidebar he contributed to GURPS Space titled “Why People Support Rotten Empires”.

    Thanks for the title credit!

  14. @bill – the article doesn’t quote Jemisin, but scrolling back through her twitter all I can find on the subject is her retweeting something by Justine Larbalestier. Which is contributing to the pile-on, sure, but it’s not exactly the “fuck that fucking bitch” quoted in the article…

    So why particularly call out Jemisin as not “making herself look good”?

  15. @gottacook : J G Ballard’s early story “Prima Belladonna” is one of a suite of stories about artists and rich people in the decadent resort “Vermilion Sands,” and collected in a book of that name. Highly recommended if one likes the atmosphere and style of early Ballard.

    These days I just pick the Vermilion Sands stories out of a Complete Short Stories e-book, getting the list of the Vermilion Sands stories from Wikipedia.

  16. 20) “Wallace & Gromit gives Joules a boost”

    for a second I thought that meant Juul.
    No, Wallace, no!!!

  17. 16) I just read the article and I found Brooke Nelson’s comment in the newspaper article interesting in light of her subsequent defense of her comments, particularly her interest in and remarks about online harassment. Nelson said in the quote which began all this, “She’s (Dessen) fine for teen girls. But definitely not up to the level of Common Read. So I became involved simply so I could STOP THEM FROM EVER CHOOSING Sarah Dessen”.

    Brooke Nelson doesn’t look terribly good here either. That’s a gratuitous remark and Dessen’s initial tweet is reasonable. Had it ended there, Dessen would come off well.

    The resulting firestorm illustrates one of two reasons I don’t have a Twitter account.

    On a much happier note:

    1) (Snoopy DANCE!) This made my year!

  18. Robert Reynolds says Brooke Nelson doesn’t look terribly good here either. That’s a gratuitous remark and Dessen’s initial tweet is reasonable. Had it ended there, Dessen would come off well.

    I’ve heard worse in local book groups. There was a local book seller who took extreme exception to Neal Stephenson in the book group he was convening based on Diamond Age and vowed he’d quit the group if we ever picked another novel by him.

    And she was only one member of a group open to anyone in the community so she was just one voice. If there’d been defenders of this author, she’d been picked. These groups work as very rough democracies.

  19. @Joe H: Casting Fortune is a collection, not a novel; it has two of his three Liavek novelettes (damfino why “Riding the Hammer” was left out as it fits with one of the included novelettes), and the only printing of a novella that would have been rather large for the anthologies. Since I did a fair amount of theater around college, “The Illusionist” has a special place in my heart even if I never encountered all those strange people and events in one place. (It also has a murder solution, but in typical Mike fashion it’s just mentioned in passing instead of being laid out as in an isn’t-the-detective-clever cosy.) ISTR that Liavek story rights reverted to the writers; somebody outside the Scribblies might get in trouble for writing a Liavek story, but I doubt reprinting will be a problem.

  20. Chip says ISTR that Liavek story rights reverted to the writers; somebody outside the Scribblies might get in trouble for writing a Liavek story, but I doubt reprinting will be a problem.

    I can’t see Will and Emma raising any objection to them being reprinted in this manner. The only thing that might fall afoul of rights clearances are his Trek novels and they may have reverted to his heirs by now. Pending of course negotiations for using those characters and settings.

  21. @Cat Eldridge:

    One, an interview in a newspaper typically has a wider reach than a comment made in a local book group and, two, Nelson, in defense of her remarks, has said that her remarks quoted were taken out of context and that the paper neglected to mention comments she made in favor of three books she feels did merit inclusion. In view of her statement that her primary motivation to take part was to stop Dessen, I submit that her further comments on other work thus fall outside her primary intent and are therefore beside the point.

    Nelson took a gratuitous public shot at Dessen and cannot be described as a victim, whether or not anyone is punching down.

  22. John Hertz responds by carrier pigeon:

    About William Hope Hodgson, you can see a short note on The Night Land here.

  23. @Chip — Thanks! Yeah, I have the original TOR paperback (but I’m still looking forward to the rereleases because I do most of my reading on Kindle these days), but the description on the paperback was ambiguous — it just says “With two bonus stories set in the same universe!”, and the copyright page doesn’t even list any individual titles, so I didn’t realize that Casting Fortune was just the name of the collection as a whole, not of the main story in the collection, “The Illusionist”.

    And now that I’m checking Amazon, I see that there are a bunch of Liavek collections for Kindle that were issued back in 2015 or so that seem to include most, if not all, of the original contents — I’d have to do a side-by-side comparison to confirm. Methinks a revisit may be in order soon.

  24. @Joe — that’s what I was thinking of when I posted. Jemisin has made a weak apology. I’m not a fan of “If I contributed to. . . ” apologies; a good apology should own the offense, and not be conditional.

    And thanks for mentioning Larbalestier. — also not covering herself in glory. To say one book (or the other work of the author) is not appropriate for a university-level Common Read program is not “a swipe at a huge swathe of YA and, frankly, at teen girls.”

    Amazing how many people for whom words are a profession don’t see the difference between “This thing is not this good” and “This thing is very bad”.

    And also funny to find a quote from Dessen, who jumped on Nelson as if Nelson had dissed all of YA literature, as saying “When I turned 21, I remember making a point, regularly, to look at teens and ask myself whether I’d want to hang out with them, much less date one. The answer was always a flat, immediate no. They were kids. I was an adult. End of story.” Kinda validates 20-year old Nelson’s views of teen girl lit.

  25. 16) In my opinion, Dessen’s tweet was a prime example of the ‘problem with authors’ She made it clear that she considered the criticism of her writing to be the same as criticism of herself. It’s not. While it may be cruel to say “Dessen is awful” it is perfectly fine to say “Dessen’s books are awful” as that student did. Before publication, every author should have to watch a 30 min video of various people saying I hated this book, maybe that will help them handle negative reviews.

  26. Chip says And now that I’m checking Amazon, I see that there are a bunch of Liavek collections for Kindle that were issued back in 2015 or so that seem to include most, if not all, of the original contents — I’d have to do a side-by-side comparison to confirm. Methinks a revisit may be in order soon.

    Will has told me that everything done for Liavek is available digitally. The collections themselves are slightly different for reasons that I forget now.

  27. 16)–Don’t particularly care for Jemisin’s work myself but the number of people performing outrage is always amusing. I always love the ones who say “I used to be a big fan but you’re a big meany so I’m never ever ever ever reading anything you write again and none of my children are going to be allowed to read you.”

  28. bookworm1398:

    “While it may be cruel to say “Dessen is awful” it is perfectly fine to say “Dessen’s books are awful” as that student did.”

    Can’t say she did even that. She made a statement on books suitable for college level reading. A book can be fantastic without being suited for classroom discussions in college.

  29. The Liavek collections available today differ from the original ones in that the stories by Patricia Wrede and Pamela Dean are available in a separate volume (available in electronic and hard-copy formats), Points of Departure. The other stories in the five original anthologies have been reissued in eight ebooks. When I bought them, I was pleasantly surprised to see they included Ford’s contributions.

    Also, if anyone wants to try their hand at writing and publishing a new Liavek story, they are apparently welcome to do so providing certain conditions are met: https://cityofluck.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-liavek-independent-creators-license.html

  30. Thanks for publishing Porter’s photos from the 1967 New York City Worldcon. But I must offer one correction. The name of the convention was ‘NyCon3’ — not “NYCon 3.” Andy was the convention’s secretary, so I have no idea why he can’t get it right. I have pointed out this error to him before, but he has ignored me. As co-chair of the con, I know the correct title, not least because I coined it..

  31. 16) I’m not a big YA reader, but I have actually read and enjoyed some of Sarah Dessen’s books. She is a good writer who happens to write for teenage girls.

    That said, I wouldn’t expect to find Sarah Dessen’s books on a college reading list, unless it is for a class on modern YA literature, where they would be absolutely appropriate. This does not mean that the novels are bad or that college students should not read them. There are many wonderful books I would nonetheless not expect to find on a college reading list.

    And for the record, as a student I often picked genre novels or disreputable classics (gothic novels, Victorian sensation novels, etc…) for my leisure reading and quite openly displayed the lurid covers (the more lurid, the better), because I was so annoyed by my fellow students who would delibrately place the latest award winning literary work on the table, hoping to impress the professors. If someone made derogatory remarks about my leisure reading, I inevitably responded with a very academic sounding explanation why the book in question was a very important work, if overlooked work.

    Brooke Nelson’s statement could have been worded better, whether by herself or the journalist who wrote the article. However, I don’t think that Sarah Dessen should have responded. It used to be drilled into writers never to pick a fight with a reader or reviewer. No matter how clueless or stupid the reader or reviewer, just let it go. Because an author responding to a reader/reviewer only makes the author look bad and usually isn’t worth the hassle.

    In this case, an added complication is that Sarah Dessen is very popular and has a big social media following. And the YA community has a reputation for online arguments that easily turn toxic, which is exactly what happened here.

    Justine Larbalastier makes some good points regarding the blanket dismissal of YA, romance and novels with happy endings, though she is arguing with something that Brooke Nelson didn’t even say.

    BTW, NSU is a very unfortunate abbreviation for this university, considering it is the name of an infamous Neo-Nazi terror cell, which murdered ten people and attempted to kill many more.

  32. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 11/16/19 It Must Be Pixels, ‘Cause Ink Don’t Scroll Like That | File 770

  33. @Cora Buhlert: no, this one was rather younger. He was a well-known fan in certain circles; he was more of a collector, his wife more of a convention fan (she ran the masquerade for Noreascon 2, when I was division head for Functions). Someone who leans to scurrilous stories claimed that when Ed was engaged a group of fans gave his apartment a cleaning instead of throwing a bachelor party; one, seeing no cleaning supplies, asked “Where’s the Comet”, to which Ed answered with a shelf location and the dates during which Comet had been published.

    I see the longlist agrees with Ted’s capitalization, but it looks wrong — especially with the counter-precedent of LAcon (or L.A.{C,c}on, says the longlist). It could have been a hybrid of compromise between Nycon I and “NYCon II)”, but it’s still peculiar.

    @Cat Eldridge: from what I heard from Mike and others, the two OST novels were works-for-hire; regardless of what Pocket/Paramount did or didn’t do, no rights would have ever reverted. (I note that Amazon lists The Final Reflection in e-book, which means it may never have fallen out of print; I don’t get a listing for How Much for Just the Planet, which is a pity.)

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